Media Release Southern Cross Care – Lacks Care

3 August 2021

Media Door Stop: TODAY – Tuesday 3 August
Where: ANMF Launceston Office – 19 Brisbane Street
When: 1pm

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) Tasmanian Branch has grave concerns for Southern Cross Care Aged Care with both residents, ANMF members and other health professionals raising serious concerns about staffing levels and lack of support for staff, which in turn is affecting resident care.

The ANMF in the last week has received contact from a resident at Southern Cross Care’s Rivulet Facility stating that they have concerns for the over-worked nursing and care staff and that they hoped the ANMF could step in and support staff at the facility. Similarly, other health professionals associated with this facility, have reached out to the ANMF to seek support of the staff and residents alike to ensure that resident safety is not compromised.

The ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary, Emily Shepherd, said today “that the contact from Southern Cross Care residents and other health professionals is incredibly concerning from Rivulet and from other facilities across the state. It is indicative of an Aged Care Provider who is not being proactive on the recommendations of the Royal Commission and that must change for staff and resident safety”.

The contact comes as the ANMF is attempting to renegotiate an Enterprise Agreement which would improve the safety for resident in Southern Cross Care facilities, but with no effective leadership at Southern Cross Care, more and more staff are leaving. Yet, despite this the employer is putting an offer to members through the negotiation process, which will actually reduce their pay and conditions.

“The fact that Southern Cross Care has not been transparent and tried to table an offer to their employees without articulating that this will have an overall negative impact on their pay and conditions, some of which are very low paid workers’, is just incomprehensible,” said Ms Shepherd.

Issues such as removal of paid meal breaks, removal of provision to work ‘reasonable overtime’ and removal of redundancy entitlements such the need to consult, provisions for redeployment or retraining are just some of the conditions which have been removed in the offer by Southern Cross Care.

As the largest not for profit Aged Care Provider in Tasmania, Southern Cross Care should be leading the way with implementing the recommendations from the Royal Commission, yet instead, they appear to be penalising the workforce who is responsible for the safety and quality of care that residents receive in their facilities.

Whilst the ANMF continues to negotiate in good faith, we will take advice from members on industrial action if the offer to members, working conditions and staffing levels are not improved at Southern Cross Care.

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