An NZNO organiser Sarah Barker said the collective agreement pay offer from Sunrise Healthcare, which took over the hospital about a year ago, had been rejected by registered nurses and cleaners at the site.  She said health care assistants at the facility, whose pay is regulated through the Care and Support Workers Pay Equity Settlement, had voted to support their colleagues by picketing the facility for an hour late on the afternoon of October 18.

Barker said registered nurses with four years’ service (level 4 RNs) were being offered 13 cents extra an hour and RNs with three years’ service (level 3 RNs) were being offered 2 cents extra.

Lynton Lodge says it believed its offer was fair as its current senior nurse (level 3 & 4) pay rates were well above the average, based on aged care sector market data.

“Currently the industry is facing a shortage of nurses, and we must focus on recruitment of qualified staff. Our offer of 8.8% for Level 1 Nurses and 7.4% for level 2 Nurses attempts to address this,” the Lodge said in a statement.  It added that the pay equity settlement for caregivers had “caused a number of flow-on issues which must also be addressed”.

Barker said cleaners at the hospital had been offered no pay rise beyond the required increase to the minimum wage rate in April this year ($16.50 an hour).  The Lodge said the minimum wage increase received by its housekeeping staff had been the equivalent of a more than 8% pay rise and the Government had indicated that further minimum wage increases were to follow over the coming years.

“We hope the (aged care) funding review currently underway will address some of the issues the industry currently faces.”

Barker said many of the staff at Lynton Lodge had done long service at the facility which had won the 2015/16 Aged Advisor People’s Choice Award for Best Aged Care (Small) Facility, and was a finalist for the same award in 2017.

Source: Nursing Review

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