Aged Care Updates
Southern Cross Care Tasmania (SCCT)
The ANMF acknowledges the recently received change proposal from SCCT that indicates a significant decrease in rostered hours for the Catering department. It’s worth noting that this workload will more than likely be required to be absorbed by the Care staff, who are already working with extremely challenging workloads. Further to this point, it is questionable if it would be acceptable for care staff to be delivering meals when they are attending to direct residential care, from an infection control perspective.
A meeting was held on Wednesday 24 November 2021 at Rosary Gardens where members advised that management had indicated that they expected RESIDENTS to (a) help lay tables for meals, (b) make their own toast, (c) make their own hot drinks and walk those to the table. We were also advised that residents who were unable to make it to the dining room would no longer receive a hot meal. If these reports are correct the ANMF and our members have a number of concerns including infection control and risk to residents during the transfer of hot drinks. Furthermore, we note that many residents are admitted to higher care facilities precisely because they are not capable of safely performing simple home care duties such as making a cup of tea.
We encourage members to notify us via their local Organiser or via the Member Support Team on email@example.com of any alterations to arrangements with Catering and Servery that are impacting on the Carer workload and we will conduct a member meeting to discuss this.
The ANMF met with members on Wednesday 24 November 2021 to discuss recent changes to Catering, Servery, and management and the outcome of the recent Commission visit.
Southern Cross Care Tasmania (SCCT) EA negotiations
After a delay of nearly a month the Negotiator for SCCT has circulated a ‘final draft’ of the EA and advised that further discussion are pointless as the parties have reached an ‘impasse’. It is asserted that paid meal breaks for clinical staff will be removed under the new EA. The ANMF has raised a number of concerns about this issue, including the fact that the draft document no longer contains timeframes for when meal breaks are to be taken. The employer has declined to make any changes to the draft.
The ANMF has also asked what shift patterns and rosters will look like, if the paid meal break is removed, again, we have no answers to those questions. We are advised that it will be sorted after the EA is voted up.
Finally, the ANMF has raised questions about what happens to ex-Bupa employees who are employed under an agreement which had several conditions more favourable than those found in the SCCT current and now draft EA. We have been advised that SCCT wants a single set of conditions across all sites and that means any better conditions (ex-Bupa) will be removed. Given assurances of SCCT at the time of purchasing Bupa (now Rivulet) the ANMF has raised concerns about what appears to be a breach of the employment contract if SCCT unilaterally revoke those entitlements.
A flyer will be circulated shortly outlining the offer. The wage offer stands at 2.0% (from October 2021 – so a few weeks of back pay); 1.7% at October 2022 and 1.5% from October 2023.
As members are aware, the ANMF identified that carer members were being underpaid at SCCT (that is, they were being paid less than the Modern Award) and these small wage increases may see them fall behind the Award rates in the future – we will be monitoring this situation.
We have already been advised that members are not happy with the proposal. They continue to feel completely disrespected and unsupported by their employer. They also advise that they have been given no updates about the underpayment, identified in January 2020, by the employer and what impact this might have on them.
At the request of members the ANMF is considering circulating a survey asking if they would be prepared to apply for a Protected Action Ballot. Again, a flyer will be sent explaining this process.
We were advised on Wednesday 24 November 2021 that the employer intends to put the EA out for consideration of staff and a vote. The access period is to open on Thursday 25 November 2021, materials explaining the offer and impact on employees/working conditions should be circulated and made available to all staff. It is intended that the ballot will open on Friday 3 December 2021. For further information click here.
Freemasons Masonic Care Tasmania (MCT)
Members discussed and rejected the EA offer put by MCT at our meeting on Wednesday 17 November 2021. Members resolved to take Industrial Action and the ANMF is preparing for a Protected Action Ballot. The meeting also resulted in the ANMF emailing the MCT People and Culture Manager regarding workload, staffing and management issues. We await a response and will share this with members.
The ANMF has been contacted by members from SCCT Mt Esk Nursing Home regarding changes to afternoon working hours for kitchen and catering staff that has resulted in a workload impact for carers and nurses on the PM shift. The ANMF has scheduled a meeting with members for Wednesday 1 December 2021 at 1430hrs to discuss this matter further and develop a plan for resolution.
Uniting Age Well (UAW) Lillian Martin
ANMF Officials have attended several member meetings and morning/afternoon teas in the south, and we look forward to catching up with members at Lillian Martin on the 29-30 November 2021, we encourage all members and any non-members wishing to join to attend.
Updates correct as at 25 November 2021.
Authorised by Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary
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