Early in October, members raised concerns about safety and workload, requesting an offsite meeting to discuss these openly. A meeting was held in Macksville where several issues were raised, specifically regarding resident behaviours and workload.
Following this, correspondence outlining these concerns was sent and a meeting was set for 27 October with senior and local managers, as well as HSU delegates and representatives.
In the correspondence, management were informed staff were retrieving a resident who was leaving the facility in their own vehicles. Management reported in the meeting that communication with the resident’s family had now been confirmed around the protocols for the resident’s movements outside of facility. As a result, this issue should be resolved.
Further, management reported that there have been a number of steps taken in relation to an identified resident with aggressive behaviour which they hope will resolve this issue too. However, members should as always report any inappropriate behaviours from residents to management.
In relation to workload, members would be aware earlier this year Pacifica had a roster review due to low occupancy. At that time 418 hours were removed from the fortnightly roster. HSU members expressed concern that the cuts were far too deep and would not accommodate the needs of residents and ensure the safety of staff.
Fast forward a few months and workload is putting a major strain on staff. Earlier this month your local HSU Organiser Kirk Rostock surveyed staff (see the results at this link). At that time vacancies were raised with local management, who confirmed there are currently 6 vacancies. Uniting have been advertising and interviewing to find appropriate staff. Filling these vacancies will alleviate some of the staffing shortages. However, areas like lifestyle for example appear to be short staffed. This problem is compounded by the lack of volunteers due to COVID.
The HSU will request a further meeting with management and local delegates to target pinch points on rosters and more broader staffing issues such as lifestyle.
This is another example of how working together we can improve conditions at Pacifica. If you are not already a member, or you know someone that is not a member, let them know what HSU members are doing at Pacifica. New members can join by speaking to Nicole Lane or Chandelle Hacking, online at www.hsu.asn.au/join or by calling 1300 478 679.
If you would like more information, please contact your local HSU Organiser Kirk Rostock on 0488 086 907.