14 July 2022
ANMF (SA Branch) aged care members at Estia Health have secured a fantastic win over the issue of Rapid Antigen Testing before shifts.
It was reported by members in February, that Managers at Estia Health had instructed staff to arrive at work 15 minutes prior to their shift to undertake a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) with no payment for their time.
The ANMF (SA Branch) wrote to the Chief Executive Officer of Estia Health, and an agreement was reached that Estia would review their policy. As a result, the decision was made that the current practice would cease, and staff would be provided with RATs to be taken home to undertake prior to the shift.
In a further win, Estia also agreed to backpay all affected staff across its 17 South Australian sites. Back payment will be received for every shift worked from 10 February 2022 until the end of March 2022, including all penalties. Staff are expected to receive their back pay this month.
An Estia aged care worker described the RATS win as “a relief”.
“It did create a bit of disgruntlement,’’ she said of the unpaid work time.
“Aged care is already such a hard profession to work in. Having to come in to work 15 minutes earlier was just another thing you were expected to do - taking us for granted.
“Aged care is a caring workforce, so everybody just did it because we care. We care for the residents’ wellbeing and protection.’’
“This is another great win for the rights and working conditions of our dedicated aged care members,’’ ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM said.
“This outcome would not have been achieved without members notifying the ANMF and providing the necessary evidence. Congratulations to you all.’’