Recently in-home aged care delegates came together for an urgent discussion on how to unite against the coronavirus and protect their work.
Delegates raised concerns about inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), loss of income, lack of consultation, and the need to adapt some services.
As the federal government pours money into the aged care sector hoping to retain staff, now is the time for frontline workers to ask for what they need to protect themselves and the communities they work with.
If you do not have enough delegates in your workplace, now is the time to step up and nominate.
By becoming a delegate, you ensure that your workplace will have a voice in one of the most critical challenges in-home aged care services have ever faced. Send expressions of interest to Tuffy at email@example.com
Delegates agreed to following set of claims to be put to councils:
- The provision of adequate PPE, including hand sanitiser, appropriate masks, and thermometers.
- Average working hours to be paid to all employees and agency staff in the event of reduced income from client cancelations, altered services, or government orders to self-isolate. Permanent employment is the preferred method of employment, with agency staff to only be utilised in instances of peak workflow requirements that cannot be met by permanent staff.
- 10 days special leave
- Alternative duties to be found where appropriate.
- Redundancy payouts not affected by time off work as a result of COVID 19.
- Consultation and risk assessments to occur with Health and Safety Representatives which look at possible revision of services.
- Better client education around infection control and how they can alter or suspend services (as opposed to cancelling) where needed. Education material needs to be appropriate for differently abled and linguistically diverse communities.
- Weekly over the phone health checks by admin staff to clients, as well as a standardised health assessments – across the sector – done by workers on arrival to client’s homes.
- All staff to be notified about the Department of Health’s COVID 19 Infection Control training and for this to be considered part of working hours.
- Suspending the use of volunteers.
- Paid for flu vaccination as soon as possible, or before May 1st.
- COVID 19 testing for any HACC worker presenting with a fever or respiratory infection.
- Access to COVID 19 vaccination as soon as available.
Delegates will be organising member meetings by phone link up over the coming weeks to discuss these claims with you and to develop a strategy for implementation specific to your workplace.
In-home aged care workers play a vital role in stopping the spread of COVID 19 among vulnerable people in the community and at work. The ASU is proud to stand side by side as they push for best practice where there is none.
Please forward this email to a colleague if they are not yet a union member and encourage them to join. United we can fight this.
For further information please contact:
ASU Organiser Tuffy Morwitzer | firstname.lastname@example.org