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News News Carinya aged care workers locked out for seven days

Low paid aged care workers at Carinya of Bicton who tried to start their shifts this morning, have been locked out by their employer.

In a move which is unprecedented in the aged care industry in Australia, Carinya management have told around 50 LHMU members they will be locked out and not allowed to work until Monday, February 7.

Dave Kelly, secretary of the LHMU said: “This is a disgusting move by management which will seriously damage standards of care at the home.

“These aged care workers are experienced carers. They know the residents and their behaviours better than anyone. Now these vulnerable people will be cared for by agency staff who do not know them or their routines.  This will be unsettling and upsetting for residents who have established relationships with regular staff.

“The staff will also be going a week without wages thanks to management’s huge over reaction. They were already struggling on wages of $18.66 p/h in WA’s two speed economy.”

LHMU members have been trying to negotiate with Carinya for the last seven months. Workers have not had a pay rise in two years. Management are offering the most experienced care workers at the centre a pay rise over three years which amounts to just 23c.

Carinya are also proposing to give staff only five weeks of annual leave with an extra one week if they work different shifts in a fortnight. This is compared to the majority of aged care workers in WA who get six weeks leave and an extra week if they work different shifts.

Members at Carinya are looking for a $1 p/h rise which will bring them in line with aged care industry pay rates in the state. They also want their week’s annual leave to be reinstated.

“The current low pay and conditions have already forced out plenty of experienced staff meaning that many of the shifts are now covered by temporary and agency workers who don’t know the vulnerable residents at all,” added Mr Kelly.

“Our members felt they must take a stand for fairer wages and conditions because ultimately this will have great benefit for the people they care for. If they treated their staff better, this aged care facility would find it has a better chance of retaining experienced and highly-skilled workers, which ultimately will improve the care of and the day-to-day lives of the residents. Currently their staff turnover is horrendously high, which is perhaps indicative of the lack of respect this provider has for its staff.”

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