Aged care newsletter

Posted on
October 6, 2022
in
Aged Care Sector

Your sector update

Why didn’t you receive the Fair Work pay increase back in July?

As you might be aware, the Fair Work Commission announced in June that there was to be a 5.2%increase to the minimum wage and that awards for aged care workers would increase by a minimum of 4.6% from 1 July 2022.

You’re rightfully confused about who should have gotten this increase or any part of that increase, particularly if you’ve seen posters around your workplace indicating that this is what the Award is and this is what you should be getting. It’s not that simple.

Whether you received the full 4.6% increase or part of it will depend on who you work for and whether you have your own workplace agreement.

•  If you’re on an agreement and are being paid well above the Award rate, then you may not receive the 4.6% pay increase if you are already above that new minimum pay rate. However, your agreement should still have pay increases in it that you are entitled to.

•  If you’re on an agreement and the pay rates are less than 4.6% above the old minimum rate, then you are entitled to an increase to bring you up to the new minimum pay rate, but remember being on a certain level in your agreement doesn’t necessarily mean that it coincides with the same level in the Award.

•  If you don’t have a workplace agreement and are on the Award, you would be entitled to the increase unless you are already being paid well above the Award rate.

It might sound a bit complicated, but HACSU will keep a sharp eye on wage rates, and if we know that you should have been paid the increase, we will not hesitate to pursue management seeking payment for that.

If you believe you should have received the pay increase but did not, please contact us as soon as you can on 1300 880 032.

  

Extra hours in the laundry a welcome addition

Workers at Emmerton Park have had issues with laundry workload and staffing levels for awhile, particularly on the weekend.

When they tried to raise this with management in the past, they were told to just leave whatever they didn’t get done and do it the next day, meaning nothing is ever completed as there are always leftovers from the day before.

We raised workers’ concerns with the facility manager and now Emmerton Park have increased laundry hours on weekends, as requested by the laundry team. The employer have said they’ll also follow up with the team to ensure it’s working.

Thanks to those members who spoke up! This is a win for all staff working in the facility now and in the future.

We encourage all workers to keep asking questions, raising issues and giving feedback in their areas so that things can improve in your workplace.

 

Roster review: are you being shafted?

If you have been asked to change your roster, here are a few things you should know about.

A normal change of roster in accordance with your workplace agreement can happen, but if you’re a permanent (part-time) employee, your employer must offer you the same hours or similar hours that do not cause any loss of income.

If you’ve lost your contracted hours or income because of roster change, you are usually entitled to a partial redundancy as you’re adversely affected.

If you’ve been short in your contracted hours and your employer haven’t offered you a partial redundancy or any compensation for your loss of hours or income, you need to contact HACSU immediately on 1300 880 032 or at assist@hacsu.org.au for advice and support.

 

Travel allowance – a win for St. Giles home care workers

After a months-long dispute with St. Giles about workers’ travel allowance entitlement in the Fair Work Commission, workers have had a win.

HACSU maintained that employees should be paid the kilometre travel rate where they travel further to or from a bookend client than they would if they were to travel to the employer’s “home base”. We also argued that staff should be paid the kilometre allowance when they’re on a broken shift.

The Commission has recently effectively agreed with us and suggested that the employer should pay the allowance in line with HACSU’s submission.

As a result, we’ve had confirmation from St. Giles that they will start paying the allowance correctly and will do a pay audit from the time the Commission approved the agreement.

If you’re a homecare worker and have any questions or concerns about your entitlement, please don’t hesitate to contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032.

 

Time has come to stand up to Calvary Aged Care

We’ve been trying to get Calvary to commence bargaining for their new workplace agreement since they took over the business from Japara at the end of 2021, but they have continually refused to do so with excuse after excuse – and none of them are acceptable.

We even asked in good faith that Calvary pay workers the wage increases that they should have received in January and June of this year, and yet again, Calvary have flatly refused.

Aged care workers have been working their guts out over the past few years, enduring COVID lockdowns and risking their own health and the health of their own families caring for COVID-positive residents. They shouldn’t be treated with such disregard.

It’s time to stand up to such an employer and force them to come to the table to negotiate a new agreement and give workers the wage increase that they truly deserve.

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