Aged care workers at private Caboolture (QLD) facility stage union backed public protest despite 9% pay offer

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Up to 30 aged care nurses of the Sunnymeade Park Aged Care Community at Caboolture (52 kilometres north of the Brisbane CBD), gathered in a rally outside the facility last week to protest their employer and demand better pay and more adequate staff-to-resident ratios (pictured).

According to The Courier Mail, Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) Secretary, Beth Mohle, praised the protestors for “taking a stand and defending the rights of elderly Queenslanders and those who care for them.”

They are currently negotiating an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement – including at least one RN to be on site at an RAC at all times. Ms Mohle also said aged care Registered Nurses earned on average $300 a week less than their public and private hospital counterparts.

But Sunnymeade Park Aged Care director Michael Walker defended the level of care provided to his community’s 158 residents, saying there was an RN on site at all times, and that he was unaware of any issues regarding the standard of care.

“Staff are in the midst of enterprise bargaining and have been offered a 9% pay rise over three years … 3% a year,’’ he said.

Mr Walker also said pay parity with the public sector is “unviable” given current funding levels.

Interesting to see the QNM union giving so much attention to this matter, considering it only concerns a single private business rather than a large operator.