Last week aged care workers and their unions from across Australia met to launch a call to action for the Federal Government.
Working with the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions)we made our 4 big demands clear:
1. Mandated minimum staffing levels and required mix of skills and qualifications in every residential facility, over every shift.
2. Transparency and accountability for Government funding.
3. Mandated training requirements (including infection control and ongoing professional development)accessible to all staff and paid by employer.
4. Government funding is required to be increased, linked to the provision of care and the direct employment of permanent staff with decent pay and enough hours to live on.
We are all on the same page. We demand action for aged care.
Sign the petition here: https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/we-demand-action-for-aged-care
Aged care unions came together to take action and make our Action for Aged Care demands known to the government with a virtual event last week, which included a joint media presser and a policy roundtable discussion with invited ministers.
HACSU delegate Andrew Challis represented aged care workers in Tasmania.
The media presser was well attended by the major news outlets before we had a roundtable meeting with a mix of passionate aged care members from NSW, Vic and Tas.
The Ministers who attended the roundtable included Ged Kearney, Chris Bowen, Kristina Keneally, and advisors for Anthony Albanese, Julie Collins and Stirling Griff.
Unsurprisingly, Richard Colbeck and Greg Hunt were unable to attend...
We recently wrote to Francine Douce, the head of Tasmania’s Aged Care Emergency Operations Centre, raising our concerns about the lack of preparation for a second wave in the industry and calling on the state government to help coordinate a response before it was too late.
Apart from some public health advice and testing, a lot of facilities were largely on their own with the first wave. We need to learn the lessons of Victoria, where the State Government came to a memorandum of understanding with the sector to deal with some of the key issues of the outbreak, and ensure we are prepared to support the aged care workforce in any future outbreak.
We called for an urgent roundtable with the government and the big players to get this happening asap.
In response, the government has indicated it will be creating a Peak Bodies Reference Group and that HACSU will be a member.
Workers need a voice and the state government needs to jump in to fill the gaps between the federal government and the employers on the ground. We look forward to making sure this is a top priority for the group and the government.
As in many aged care sites, members at OneCare Umina Park have been under the pump for some time due to increased workload, with short staffing affecting everyone from cleaners and catering to carers and nurses.
Umina Park workers love their residents and feel privileged to work for them, but they're worried that resident care will be compromised if these issues are not fixed.
As the biggest residential aged care facility in Tasmania, this is short staffing on steroids! HACSU members at Umina Park have decided enough is enough and say it’s time for real change.
Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and in the community as members take up the fight to address these issues.
If you would like to show your support you can contact OneCare management on (03) 6220 1220 or by emailing the CEO at email@example.com and let them know you support the workers at One Care Umina Park and their fight for abetter workplace for both staff and residents.
If you need to meet with management to discuss your work conditions - hours, workload, workplace flexibility, rosters or any other issue that affects your working life - you have the right to union representation.
Before you attend a meeting alone with management call HACSUassist on 1300 880 032. Our experienced organisers will listen attentively to you and may pick up something you didn’t think of. They will also advise whether you should have representation attend with you.
Most employment agreements and workplace policies include processes the employer must follow before doing things like changing rosters or a statement of duties and tasks. Also, check agreements and policies to see if there is a special process for disciplinary meetings or anything else relevant to the issue you want to discuss.
It’s a good idea to ask management for a copy in writing of all relevant information before the meeting. This includes the right to accessing your personal file if needed. We suggest you call HACSUassist to contact the employer to make an appointment.
Prepare yourself well for this meeting. Do you have issues at home such as stress, health or family problems that are affecting your performance at work that you may need to ask the employer for assistance with? Are these temporary? If so, how long will they affect your role? Are there any
problems in the workplace affecting your performance such as a bullying workmate or excessive workload? You may need to sit down with a HACSU organiser before the meeting to properly prepare by looking at what the issue is and what outcome you’re looking for.
You may be feeling very nervous about your upcoming meeting so it’s a good idea to practice with your HACSU representative beforehand - go over what you’re going to say and any likely answers to questions you might be asked.
Remember, you can take as many breaks as you need during the meeting and you don’t have to agree to anything at the meeting. It’s your right to be given the time to make an informed decision. If you have any concerns, call us, we’re here for you.
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Thanks for the amazing work you’re doing in this unprecedented and rapidly changing environment.
Feel free to contact HACSUassist between 8am and 6pm Monday to Thursday and 8am – 5pm on Fridays, about anything in this newsletter or any other issue you have, regardless of how small you feel your issue might be.
Be strong, take care and stay safe - we’re proud to represent you.