Southern Cross Care members win underpayment

Southern Cross Care members win underpayment

Respite workers at Southern Cross Care sites Willow Fern and Myrtle Cottage have had a big win.

Respite workers at Southern Cross Care sites Willow Fern and Myrtle Cottage have had a big win.

Delegate Shane Dinnison has worked at Myrtle Cottage for three years.

“As Respite Services our role is to provide multi-faceted care and support to people with memory loss. This includes social care, physical care, dementia care, and domestic duties like cooking and cleaning for clients.

“We liaise with family carers, and design, implement and evaluate cognitive therapies that help people live well with memory loss.

“Earlier this year there were some general concerns around wages and conditions, so I contacted my Organiser to get some answers.

“We went through all our conditions and found that Southern Cross Care was not paying anyone the First Aid Allowance, despite that being a requirement of our job.”

In addition to not being paid a First Aid Allowance, United Voice found that some respite workers had been wrongly classified.

Members were being employed under Level 3 of the home care stream, when their duties should classify them under Level 4 of the social and community services sector stream.

This was due to working alone, and performing duties such as administering medication, planning activities, and performing First Aid.

Members also had relevant qualifications.

Members worked together with their Organiser to prove that they were entitled to the higher rate of pay.

They provided detailed evidence that their duties fulfilled the requirements to be classified as Level 4, and that they were eligible to receive the First Aid Allowance.

By being proactive in resolving their concerns, members were successful.

Southern Cross Care undertook a review of the classification of all workers at Myrtle Cottage and Willow Fern.

In June this year, Southern Cross Care management agreed to backpay all affected workers.

This came to a sum of over $60,000.

United Voice member Leah was employed for two years on the wrong classification.

“I was disappointed that they weren’t paying us correctly for all the hard work that we do.

“I felt more comfortable once the union was involved, because I knew it was going to be taken seriously.

“I was extremely happy when it was resolved, and we got the backpay that we were entitled to.”

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