Residents speak up to support workers at Brigidine House

Since Catholic Healthcare sent the HSU a notice of implementation of the SOM (Standard Operating Model) on 21 September 2021, members at Brigidine House started to get organised. When residents heard about the changes, they wanted you and your colleagues to know they are on our side.

Residents who are concerned about the changes to shift hours and their impact on workers agreed to meet with your local HSU Organiser Hyojung Kim yesterday, 28 October 2021.

As agreed with Catholic Healthcare Human Resources, your organiser Hyojung did not talk about the current change at Brigidine House, but only about the Aged Care sector in general, the importance of workers’ hours to provide quality care they deserve, and how we can keep their beautiful home safe for workers and residents.

A number of residents raised their hands and spoke for themselves and the staff they care about. I wanted to share some of the important points and beautiful remarks made by some of the residents who attended yesterday.

  • “I was rather shocked and saddened to hear the disconcerting news about our wonderful staff having their hours cut back, therefore will impact on the services to us. We don’t accept this.”
  • “We’ve always been very grateful and appreciative of these wonderful staff. We hear our top carer resigned – as a result of the cut – already. One is enough. If we lose more, it will be regarded as a disaster.”
  • “Brigidine has an enviable reputation and we wouldn’t want to see that disappear overnight.”
  • “It is absolutely essential that we have two people on every shift. I was saved by a very observant care worker at 1:30am on Sunday morning, who found me lying on the bathroom floor unconscious.”
  • “It is a wonderful place and staff look after us, second to none. It is a Catholic institution run by Catholic Healthcare. We don’t exist to make money.”
  • “Nothing ever goes wrong when my carer is around.”
  • “The majority of the care workers are from overseas. If Scott Morrison does not welcome them, we want to. They are our friends and we love them and we want them to stay with us with good memory.”

On top of this meeting, a resident handed Hyojung a letter they organised in support of the workers. Twenty residents signed the letter. Part of the letter states “Brigidine House is not just an Aged Care Facility, it is a home away from home for many of the carers. The love and care we receive at Brigidine House is outstanding.”

In sharing these comments with you, I want members to know that residents see and understand the incredible work you do, and they want to lend their support.

We will do our very best to represent you throughout this change for the safety of all of you and these wonderful residents. You are the backbone of this important sector looking after the elderly citizens who contributed to the society we live in.

Contact your local HSU Organiser Hyojung at hyojung.kim@hsu.asn.au or 0458 012 322 to discuss any issues, and encourage all your workmates to join the HSU at www.hsu.asn.au/join or call 1300 478 679. We are stronger when we stand together.