Aged care newsletter

Posted on
March 4, 2021
in
Aged Care Sector

Your sector update.

It has been a huge month for aged care with the breaking news that the Aged Care Royal Commission’s final report has been handed to the Governor-General today, with public release due mid next week.

Workload survey results drop

Earlier this week we launched the results of our aged care workload survey, a chance to pressure the government into adopting the Aged Care Royal Commission’s recommendations.

Thanks to your responses we put together the largest survey of aged care workers in Tasmania and found unprecedented levels of short-staffing, with major results including:

•  83% of workers say they usually can’t complete their daily tasks, with the vast majority saying that due to a lack of staff they don’t expect to be working in aged care in 5 years’ time

•  60% of workers say workload has again increased from already near-unmanageable levels since the pandemic

•  30% of workers say they still have issues accessing personal protective equipment at work

 

Vaccinations

We’ve also been in the media talking about the vaccination rollout, with aged care workers initially going to receive the vaccination at the same time as residents.

Now it’s going to be done separately and probably with the AstraZeneca vaccine not Pfizer.

We’ve been speaking to state and federal government representatives about the importance of a seamless rollout and greater transparency at this vital time.

We remain concerned that only a relatively small team of clinicians has been contracted by the commonwealth to rollout the aged care vaccinations locally.

We remain concerned that only a relatively small team of clinicians has been contracted by the commonwealth to rollout the aged care vaccinations locally.

 

Aged Care Royal Commission - Canberra, here we come!

With the Aged Care Royal Commission now handing over its recommendations, a once in a generation chance to change aged care, so the government must act and be held to account.

We’ve taken aged care workers to Canberra to sit down at a round table with senate cross-benchers and independents to lobby them to pressure the government to accept the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

The cross-benchers are key to making sure that we have a positive outcome and are able to pass legislation that improves the sector. They have, unusually, made themselves available as a group to give workers from across the country a chance to make it clear how important it is to reform aged care.

The five asks we’ll be discussing with the politicians are:

•  Aged care workers deserve an immediate and significant pay rise

•  Aged care workers deserve the right number of staff with the right skills to deliver holistic care for older Australians

•  Aged care workers deserve secure employment rather than having to work multiple jobs

•  Aged care workers deserve paid pandemic leave, proper infection control training and PPE

•  Aged care workers deserve funded, ongoing training and professional development to support their career progression and to help a skilled workforce

 

SCC facility manager stood down after HACSU members act

After staff carried a vote of no confidence in the management of Southern Cross Care, the Glenara Lakes facility manager has been stood down amid an investigation into allegations of staff harassment and misconduct.

Management of Glenara Lakes has verbally directed staff to not backfill sick-leave, a fact borne out by the rosters over recent weeks, an unprecedented direction that threatens the safety of residents and staff.

For example, due to this direction all absent ECA hours weren’t replaced on Tuesday 16 February (29 hours), Thursday 18 February (8 hours), Sunday 20 February (13 hours) and Monday 22 February (21 hours).

This is on top of cleaning hours not being filled while we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

Staff are also devastated by false claims that appeared on the Hello Care Facebook page and feel they’ve been offered no material support.

Members feel management allowed a resident’s wife to abuse and bully Glenara staff members for too long and haven’t refuted any of the false claims made on Hello Care, showing total disrespect for their employees.

The number of quality staff who’ve left in the past two years far exceeds staff turnover at other facilities and some current staff will leave if positions become available.

Glenara Lakes has some of the kindest and most caring staff we know, and it could be a fantastic facility, but they feel they’re treated with total disrespect, so HACSU has written to the CEO and requested to fix the mess.

We’ll consult further with members if SCC won’t or can’t address these incredibly serious issues. We are actively considering all legal, industrial and community escalation options- we won’t hesitate to act if the employer refuses to.

 

Cuts to Yaraandoo kitchen hours

Thanks to mismanagement Yaraandoo in Burnie was one of the three Tasmanian facilities subject to Royal Commission hearings – and now they’ve cut rostered kitchen hours.

With the Royal Commission’s final report due to government next week, management have again ignored the commission’s warnings about the dire impact of roster cuts by almost halving kitchen hours.

Despite the clear risks, Southern Cross refuses to provide real answers to how the facility can operate safely with half the staff.

Given management have offered no other choice, we’ve contacted the aged care regulator ACQSC and called on them to step in and help us fix this mess.

 

Are you being paid correctly for overtime?

You’re entitled to overtime rates whether you’re full time or casual, shift worker or day worker, but we’ve had many calls from members unsure if they’re being paid correctly.

Are you being asked to work overtime? Are you being paid correctly? Are you getting breaks?

If you’re not sure about your entitlements, simply call us and we’ll investigate it with you, and if you’re not a HACSU member we can sign you up over the phone.

Inform is your magazine

Inform is your union’s Tasmanian magazine, and the summer 2020-21 issue is hot off the press. Just some of what it contains are hundreds of member and event photos, editorials, useful information, campaign news, delegate and staff profiles and member benefits.

See members celebrating Thank You for Working in Aged Care Day and Disability Workers’ Week and lobbying in Canberra for real change in aged care. Read about members taking action at Umina Park and Hobart Private and about the changing community and disability sector. Meet some of your delegates. Get info about unfair dismissals, change proposals, long service leave, aged care annual leave and workplace health & safety. Find out why social issues really are union issues. See more in the endless series of ramped ambulance photos. Check out some HACSU holiday homes. And more…

Click here to read it now!   

 

HACSU has you covered.

If you need any more information, just give us a call on 1300 880 032.

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email assist@hacsu.org.au or complete our online contact form

Aged Care Sector