Paid in full, with thanks
In July, nurses and care workers at Scalabrini aged care facilities received welcome news in a letter from its chief executive officer, Richard de Haast.
He advised that eligible employees would receive a substantial increase to aged care award rates of pay, as ordered by the Fair Work Commission and funded by the federal government.
His key message was: “We have committed to pass through every dollar in funding that we get, to you and your colleagues.
“This increase is made on the award rate for the industry and we already pay you above that rate. We will pass through the dollar amount to you, which means that you will continue to be paid above the award rate.”
The CEO advised that Scalabrini, which operates six nursing homes in NSW, would also pay a separate national wage increase awarded by the commission to workers in all industries.
All eligible employees received individually addressed letters setting out their pay increases in dollar terms.
For example, an AiN team leader was advised she would get an extra $5.53 per hour, bringing her hourly rate to $39.60.
“We believe that this amount better reflects your contribution to the lives of our residents. We are pleased and grateful that the government is funding a large portion of this increase,” Richard de Haast wrote.
“I would like to thank you very much for your ongoing commitment to delivering outstanding support and care to our residents. Each time you come to work, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of our residents; thank you for doing this.”
Scalabrini RN Neeta Kunwar Neupane said staff initially were worried they might not get the full increase.
However, the NSWNMA visited her facility and spoke to workers before they got the CEO’s letter.
“Our union officials told us our rights and Scalabrini has listened to those messages,” Neeta said.
“We were happy to get the company’s letter promising the pay increase and giving good feedback on our work.
“We were even happier when we got the increase in our first pay period after 1 July.”
More information on aged care reforms:
Aged Care Watch allows aged care workers, residents, and family members to report and visually understand the thousands of understaffing and workload issues in aged care facilities across Australia.
The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care has conducted some useful webinars on the new changes in aged care:
- One webinar provides information about the Australian Government’s $11.3 billion investment to fund the Fair Work Commission’s decision of a 15 per cent increase to the award wages of many aged care workers.
- A second webinar provides information to the residential aged care sector on the new registered nurse (RN) 24/7 responsibility.
Resources on aged care wages:
Nurses and direct care workers in both residential and home care became entitled to a 15 per cent award pay correction from 1 July for their work value.
The federal government has issued clear instructions to employers – by law they must comply with the new minimum award rates.
These resources will help you determine what resources you should be getting from 1 July:
The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care has produced a guideline that clearly lays out the responsibilities of employers to pass on the full government funding of $11.3 billion to their employees.
The NSWNMA has produced an Aged Care Wage Checker form, so you don’t have to wait for your employer to get in touch; you can contact the Association to find out exactly what you should be receiving.