SCC has made some slight changes to their paltry wages offer, but HACSU remains extremely disappointed in SCC’s recent pay proposal. Union pressure results in some changes to rights and conditions, but deep cuts remain.
On Thursday, 13 April 2017 a third negotiations meeting was held to discuss the new Agreement. HACSU representatives strongly urged Southern Cross Care (SCC) management to improve its wage offer of just 1.3% a year. This offer would see Members’ wages reduced in real terms when compared with the likely increases to the cost of living.
SCC management have increased the wages offer to 1.5% for the first year, 1.5% second year and 1.8% third year. They have increased Compassionate Leave to three days and included 10 days paid Family Violence Leave. There was an increase in the night shift allowance to 19% and the Community Home Care staff sleepover allowances rate was increased to $55.
However in relation to workload, SCC have rejected the workload clause in Members’ Log of Claims that aims to address the real and continuing issue of excessive workloads. Instead they have proposed to include extra wording around workload in the EA. This wording is already present in SCC policy to little effect. This plainly fails to recognise the severity of workload pressures in the workplace.
HACSU raised serious concerns about a number of matters in SCC’s proposal that would reduce current conditions. These include reductions to redundancy entitlements as well as shift penalties for Community Home Care staff. SCC committed to make major alterations to these clauses, however HACSU is currently awaiting the proposed wording.
SCC workers deserve decent wages and conditions, and the current offer does not ensure this. While further negotiations are scheduled, HACSU believes SCC management is not interested in trying to reach an agreement and is being deliberately unreasonable.
HACSU will be conducting site visits across all SCC sites state-wide over the next two weeks to discuss the current situation. We will explore what options may be available to make SCC management listen to their staff and make a reasonable offer in relation to wages and conditions.