Over the last week, aged care nurses have been meeting in their own time outside Allity facilities, demanding the aged care provider end its 18 month delay on a new enterprise agreement.
Allity nurses want the company to address serious understaffing issues and offer a fair wage increase, which should be back paid to October 2017 when a pay increase was due.
This comes after the country’s fifth largest aged care provider put forward two offers containing substandard pay increases, both of which were rejected in a vote from staff.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said Allity need to show their nurses the respect they deserve by ensuring safe staffing levels at their facilities and a fair wage increase.
“Understandably, our members are very disappointed Allity rejected their request to negotiate a fair pay increase and replacement agreement. Allity is currently one of the lowest paying aged care employers in NSW,” said Mr Holmes.
“The initial 1.8 per cent pay offer Allity put forward in October last year was less than the average cost of living increase – It’s not surprising nurses voted it down.
“Allity has been dragging its feet for 18 months and nurses say they feel unappreciated and undervalued.
“What is even more disheartening for our members is knowing Allity reported a $20 million profit in 2016, up 37 per cent on the previous year.
“We’re calling on Allity to do the right thing, end the delays and consult with nurses on a new, fair enterprise agreement for their dedicated aged care nursing workforce and support staff.”
The NSWNMA first approached Allity back in March 2017 to begin formal negotiations for a new enterprise agreement. After initially refusing members’ requests to bargain, a direct offer of 1.8% was made, followed by 2.35% six months later. Both were voted down by staff.
Allity aged care nurses are asking for improved staffing to ensure there is a safe number of nurses and carers on each shift, as well as a pay increase of 3% per year. This would bring their wages closer to levels at other aged care facilities.
Residential aged care facilities where actions were held include Rosemore in Belmore, Beechwood in Revesby, Redleaf Manor in Concord, Henry Kendall on the Central Coast and Coastal Waters on the South Coast.