Ongoing SCU Issues
Notable Progress to Date
I have had the opportunity to meet SCU staff from upper management through to front line staff. I was able to raise subject matter that allowed me to see if our issues truly resonated. I am pleased and relieved that I saw that for the most part we are dealing with essentially good and reasonable people. It is true that we are dealing with a vastly improved culture at the Unit. So the issue of dealing with an entrenched and hostile SCU has been addressed at many levels. It is now time to consider additional wider issues that will always require vigilance.
Allies Burn Out
Good people face burn out when dealing with our world. Constant politics, pressure from anti sexual assault victim forces and the sheer brutality of our situations can age a person quickly. This results in good people moving on and that is not helpful to our situation. In response to this issue Sensitive Claims activists such as myself work hard to make sure that relevant issues are raised and that a constructive approach is adopted when seeking resolution. An outcome that is productive for both parties is always preferred where possible to ensure ongoing political stability and support for those who seek genuine outcomes for us.
That in no way means that we will turn away from a fight if that is what is required. The strength of any civilized process is measured by the parties willingness and ability to engage in adversarial methodology if required. Countries not at war still create, support and improve their armies in peacetime. It is no coincidence that the most influential countries in the world also happen to possess the most comprehensive arsenals and potent armed forces the world has to offer.
War and conflict are tools like any other. Wielded with thought and consideration of the wider issues the use of such tools can achieve significant results. Wielded without regard for political and logistical considerations it is certain that an aberration will be the likely outcome. There is no profit in going to war to save the land to end up scorching it beyond recognition.
Increase in Claims and Therefore Costs
There has been a sharp up turn in Sensitive Claims requiring more staff. More staff means new staff and new staff means more mistakes. This situation creates a fertile ground for conflict. For many claimants a mistake is just another to add to a long list and the feelings of frustration and anger are difficult to ignore. The Service Coordinator (used to be known as Case Manager) will likely be grappling with the multitude of complex issues that abound on all Sensitive Claims and will often be operating in a state of near panic. Take these two considerations and hurl them at each other and the result more often than not is a mushroom cloud.
This is an issue that will never be eliminated. It can only be managed. Identifying and articulating ACC process issues in a way that leads to good outcomes involves a significant understanding of a whole range of complex issues that must be considered in conjunction with each other. Understanding a claimant's claim and applying it to convoluted legislation and human politics is no easy task. Even as an advocate it can be quite the task to understand where a claimant is coming from. It is only when the all the relevant issues have been identified and understood in their entirety does the argument all of sudden take on a whole new sense.
The response is found in group support, education and knowledge sharing at a claimant level. Experience allows a claimant to address matters and by sharing that experience, all Sensitive Claimants become stronger and safer for it.
Unavoidable Financial Politic
Financial forces have been at work in the Corporation and evidence of that activity is becoming increasing apparent. This is a natural part of the ACC politic and this also will never be eliminated. The pendulum swings between claimant focused process and ruthless financial considerations. If the pendulum swings to the hard liners camp then we have the scene set for a purge.
Once again, protection is found in group support, education and knowledge so we are ready for when that day comes.
The Purge of 2009 - 2014 was the result of political forces, that see money matters to the exclusion of all other considerations, gaining control of the Corporation at a macro policy level. What happened with the SCU in the period was the symptom of a much wider malaise. The SCU can never be made into some static mechanism, free from error and outside influence. It is up to us as Sensitive Claimants to be the force to oppose the political forces that are a liability and to give those who support us the mandate and support to resist those who would throw our lives away. The changes that have occurred at the SCU are significant and commendable yet the issues detailed above will always remain in play and the ongoing stability and usefulness of the SCU will require constant vigilance.