Relief for kitchen workers

  • Published March 9, 2021

HSU members at Heritage Care Botany achieved a massive win earlier this year. Having battled for quite some time with extreme temperatures, the kitchen staff at Heritage Care Botany banded together.

The site delegate, Almera Carpenter, has recounted this fine show of unionism: “Since the inception of Sir Joseph Banks Aged Care Facility (Heritage Care), the staff have been working and suffering the heat from the Industrial Kitchen. Staff raised the issue at work multiple times, but with no success. That is until HSU arrives in our work facility and most of us became members. Catering staff are hired by a subcontractor (Catering Industries) which makes it more difficult for workers to make changes in the workplace. Staff agreed to request help from HSU Organiser Hyojung Kim to make a request for aircon because we could not handle the heat during the summer humidity. It became a work, health and safety issue as the kitchen was like an oven in Summer and very cold in Winter. On 22 January 2021 they installed the air conditioning unit and since that day we are all pleased to come to work knowing we will not be suffering the bad heat.

On behalf of all the HSU members at Catering Industries Heritage Care Botany, we are thankful to HSU for making our workplace safe!” The health and safety of care workers is more important than ever. The safety of care workers and the aged care residents greatly depends on having suitable working conditions for kitchen staff.

In the wake of COVID, aged care workers should not have to be concerned with whether they will overheat or freeze at work. Well done to the members at Heritage Care Botany. This shows that when members fight, we win!