Aged care newsletter

Posted on
June 28, 2021
Aged Care Sector

Your union update.

Vaccination – workers are now left to their own devices

As with recent months, vaccines have been on many people’s minds still as the rollout splutters along.

You might have seen us on the news talking about workers from Wynyard who had to travel to Launceston to get the jab. This was because nothing closer to home was on offer. Two hours of travel plus a return drive is enough to ruin your day, especially when it’s your day off!

We are pleased that the state government has recently offered a big increase in spots in Burnie, which should cater better to these people. But it shows you how far behind the federal government is. With all visits to aged care facilities now done and dusted as far as they are concerned, workers (once 1a priority) are now left to their own devices. Along with other unions we are pushing for all vaccines to be on work time since if they aren’t coming to you then it’s costing you money.


Royal Commission – where to from here?

You may wonder what happened to the Aged Care Royal Commission’s recommendations after the government’s other debacles have forced it off the front page.

We are not letting the ball drop. After the Royal Commission dropped but before the Budget, we looked to meet with local MPs from the government to make sure that the workforce recommendations aren’t lost. We met with Bridget Archer MP for Bass and had some constructive discussions that we’ll be following up and updating you on soon.

But Gavin Pearce MP from the north west wasn’t quite so easy to track down. He told us to talk to Minister Colbeck. We tried, but Richard Colbeck said talk to Gavin. Does it seem the NW Liberals aren’t too keen to talk about the Royal Commission?

We’ll keep pushing the politicians to talk to us and we need to see the aged care funding goes to the right place.


Workload: a vicious circle

HACSU recently raised several issues to the management at Rubicon Grove, an aged care facility along the north west coast. However, we could have written the same letter to any aged care facility in Tasmania; almost every facility across our state have the same issues – workload and its impact on staff.

We know the issues and we don’t need Royal Commissions to tell us again. We need the government and those that run our facilities to take action!

As we all know, the effect of workload has become a vicious circle for the industry. Firstly workload becomes too heavy due to lack of staff within each facility, then the staff that are working begin to call in sick or refuse to come into work on days off as they become more exhausted due to the workload, therefore creating more workload for those that are left.

Workload then impacts morale within the workplace and this low morale then slowly seeps out into the community where facilities then begin to get a bad name, through no fault of the beautiful staff that work there. Staff are off work exhausted every day and then decide that the wage is just not worth it so they leave the industry. Then the rollercoaster of short staffing begins again.

HACSU and our members will continue to raise these issues and fight until the broken aged care system is fixed.


Are extra shifts sent out by text?

Many facilities do not allow staff to carry their phones on shifts, which makes it difficult if you want to pick up an extra shift when you’re working.

We’ve had a great win for members with one facility agreeing to the below:

• All vacant shifts for the fortnight will be sent out on Wednesday at 11am

• Vacant shifts that arise during the week will go out every day at 10am

• Staff can go to the staff room at these times to see vacant shifts on their phones

If you think you’re missing out on picking up shifts because you can’t access your phone at work, you can get in touch with us and let's see how to make it fairer for everyone.


It pays to check your payslips

Sometimes your allowances, approved overtime or hours of work can be missed by payroll and leave you short on your pay. You should check your payslips regularly, and as an employee, you have the right to ask for a full audit on your pays (and your accrued entitlements for permanent full-time or part-time staff).

Some of the things that you should check are:

• Have you been paid correctly for the shifts that you have worked, including all your contracted hours of work?

• Have all applicable allowances been paid?

• Have you been paid correctly for any applicable shift loadings?

If you don’t think you’ve been paid correctly or if you’re unsure about your pay, the first thing you should do is email your payroll person with your concerns and request a response via email within five working days. If you’re not satisfied with their response, you should call HACSU for advice and help.


Work health and safety concerns

Many workers at various worksites are telling us that unsafe practices are occurring at their workplace. If you notice something unsafe in your workplace, you need to report it in the first instance through the appropriate channels that your workplace has in place. Please make sure that you keep a copy of your report. You should get a response to your concerns.

If no one gets back to you and your concerns are still not addressed, then you should contact HACSU along with the copy of the report you submitted so that we can escalate the issue. Remember if you fail to act, it could cause yourself, another worker or a resident to injure themselves.  


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 or complete our online contact form

Aged Care Sector