The Australian Nursing Federation (Victorian Branch) is calling on the Federal Department of Health and Ageing to immediately take over the Woodhaven Lodge aged care facility after management has failed to pay nurses for the second consecutive pay period.
ANF understands the 60-bed Croydon aged care facility, owned by or connected to the Cambridge Aged Care group of companies, employs almost 60 registered and enrolled nurses and personal care workers to care for elderly Victorians who have been classified as ‘high care’.
ANF understands some nurses and carers were paid late, and some not at all, for the pay period Sunday 2 June to Sunday 16 June.
All staff report they have not been paid yet for the pay period Sunday 16 June to Sunday 30 June despite the fact that all of the necessary payroll paperwork was completed on time for wages due to be paid on 30 June (pay day).
Australian Nursing Federation Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said: “Aged care facilities operate with significant government subsidies and if a workforce responsible for the care of vulnerable elderly people with complex and multiple chronic conditions is not being paid the authorities must step in.
“Not everyone has a savings buffer of four weeks’ pay for living expenses, mortgages and rent payments and bills so nurses and carers are understandably talking about having to look for other employment if this aged care facility cannot pay wages. They wouldn’t want to leave the residents but they have their own families and personal responsibilities and must not be treated like volunteers,” Ms Thomas said.
“The Department of Health and Ageing is ultimately responsible for the care of the residents living at Woodhaven Lodge and it must step in to ensure that the nurses are paid immediately and this facility can provide appropriate and safe care,” she said.
“We cannot have a system that pays thousands of dollars in taxpayer funded subsidies, ignores the financial warning signs and leaves unpaid nurses and carers with the ultimate duty of care to the residents,” Ms Thomas said.
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The ANF, with over 225,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.