Back-money win for aged care nurses


Wrong allowance paid for years

A South Coast aged care facility has paid more than $9,000 to 10 nurses who received the wrong in-charge allowance.

Edgewood Park Residential Aged Care Facility owned by Principal Healthcare and, before it, Moran Health Care, admitted it had underpaid nurses in charge since at least December 2005.

The in-charge allowance is paid for evening, night and weekend shifts. Nurses in charge of more than 100 beds should have received $30.52 per shift but were paid only $18.94 – the rate for a facility with fewer than 100 beds.

The highest amount repaid to an individual nurse was $2,168.

Management admitted its error after six months of persistent questioning by the NSW Nurses’ Association branch at the Batemans Bay facility.

Branch Secretary Prue Mackellar said members were happy their claim had finally been upheld. The branch wrote several letters to management between December last year and June, when the money was paid.

Prue said the branch initially sought back pay for the past six years – the maximum time under the award – but it was difficult to prove the exact period of underpayment.

‘Bed numbers have fluctuated and we have had five different owners in the past few years,’ she said.

‘In the end we were quite happy with the back pay we got. The most important thing was to prove we were right and get the correct allowance paid.’