On the eve of the Royal Commission into Aged Care’s final report, one of the three local facilities subject to Tasmanian hearings has directed staff not to fill care hours.
In response, aged care workers have taken the extraordinary step of carrying a vote of no confidence in Southern Cross Care management after the Glenara Lakes facility in Launceston made the direction not to backfill staff.
Last week alone saw residents short almost 100 hours of care, with 29 care hours missing on 16 February and 21 care hours missing on 22 February.
To make matters worse amidst increasing claims of harassment against the facility manager, management have delayed filling empty cleaning shifts, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and failed to replace condemned lifting hoists needed for safe resident care.
“As always, we’re giving the best care we possibly can under difficult circumstances, but we’re afraid for the safety of residents and ourselves and feel bullied and disrespected by our employer,” said a Glenara Lakes worker, remaining anonymous for fear of repercussions.
HACSU Acting State Secretary Robbie Moore condemned the lack of care and respect Southern Cross has shown to vulnerable Tasmanians and dedicated workers.
“This unjustifiable decision puts residents and staff in danger, with management making the deliberate choice to leave the facility drastically understaffed,” said Robbie Moore.
“Glenara Lakes has 88 beds and a high care dementia wing, but the facility is in disarray with more than 30 staff quitting since February 2020 due to the systemic short staffing and other workplace issues.”
A vote of no confidence in aged care management is unprecedented in recent times, but HACSU members have resolved to escalate their campaign for a safe facility if action is not taken immediately to fix this mess.
For comment or further information contact Robbie Moore on 0427 471 031.