Southern Cross Care Tasmania Don’t Care About Staffing Concerns

23 June 2021

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch (ANMF) and members are incredibly disappointed by the inaction of Southern Cross Care to address significant cultural issues within their aged care facilities, after the ANMF, on behalf of members raised issues regarding facility manager’s turnover and continuing to delay enterprise agreement negotiations with staff.

The ANMF wrote to the Southern Cross Care Board Chair Person on 11 May citing member concerns following the loss of 12 facility managers across all sites in the last 12 months. The significant loss of clinical care managers and clinical leads in some sites has left members short on clinical expertise and caused instability in facilities which has had an adverse impact on members and residents. Importantly, the ANMF also highlighted members concerns that the continuing recruitment of additional executive positions appears to be at the expense of clinical positions.

To date a response has not yet been received by the ANMF, however, the ANMF is aware that the correspondence has been received.

“The lack of response from SCC is quite frankly astounding. The lack of insight into how these archaic practices of ignoring staff concerns and not acting on them is exactly the reason why the Royal Commission made 148 recommendations on how to improve the aged care sector. These providers need to step up and start taking responsibility and acting on their staff’s concerns”, said the ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary, Emily Shepherd.

ANMF members are frustrated by the lack of recognition and acknowledgment by the SCC Board and Executive on how the revolving door of facility managers is affecting them and also the residents in their care.

Despite the appointment of additional Executive positions, and the purchase of a new facility, SCC also appear to have little interest in providing encouragement and support to their hard working nurses and care workers.

“Their delays in meeting with ANMF to negotiate a replacement enterprise agreement, makes our members feel that Southern Cross Care don’t care about them or their residents, as it is the nursing and care staff that provide care to residents in their facilities and yet they want to remove paid meal breaks and offer very low wages increases.”

The ANMF will be impressing upon Southern Cross Care the need to value their staff, offer competitive salaries and provide opportunities for professional development as these are all recommendations from the Royal Commission into aged care. There is no doubt that these matters will be integral in ensuring that Southern Cross Care can secure sufficient numbers of nurses and care workers in order to meet the required 200 care minutes by 2022.

“The ANMF has not ruled out taking these matters further through the aged care complaints commissioner and the fair work commission with respect to the bargaining process, however hope that Southern Cross Care can demonstrate they do care about the staff by providing a reply to the ANMF correspondence and also scheduling and turning up to another bargaining meeting.”

Media contact:
Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary
Mobile: 0400 884 021