Aged care hours backdown after union action

The proprietor of an aged care home has reversed a move to cut working hours following union action.

Ernest Edwards, owner of the Pacific Heights Nursing Home in Sylvania, made small cuts to shifts after the aged care wage decision
in March.

The employer claimed he could not afford the two 6% pay rises awarded to aged care workers in that decision.

Similar claims were made by employer groups during the wage case. But these were rejected by the Industrial Relations Commission after hearing independent evidence produced by the NSWNA.

Union members at Pacific Heights contacted the NSWNA office when the cuts were announced.

NSWNA officials immediately supported members. After meetings with management, the cuts were withdrawn for all current staff who wanted to keep their existing hours.

Judith Kiejda, NSWNA Assistant General Secretary, said that employers cannot cut working hours without agreement from staff.
‘We pointed this out to Pacific Heights management and they backed down,’ said Judith. ‘I urge any aged care member who is threatened with cuts to hours to contact the union office without delay.’

Most workers at Pacific Heights are permanent part-time and many have a second job.

Cuts of as little as 30 minutes per shift can impact significantly on these workers.