Sep 18, 2017

Unpaid Wages Lead to Staff Walking Out at Retirement Village

In aged care facilities and retirement villages, the number one priority should be offering optimum care for their clients and residents.

And in order to do this, the aged care provider need to hold some responsibility and accountability to their staff – ensuring that their professional needs are met with management and dependable income.

Afterall, an operator needs high quality staff to offer high quality care.

One Melbourne retirement village is under threat of losing their staff after a number of workers walked off the job on Friday.

Staff at Berkeley Living retirement village in Patterson Lakes claim that they have not been paid in months.

One staff member said that he was owed about $12,000 in unpaid wages.

Other claims include, cook only getting paid $200 for two or three days a week, while other staff were getting less than $10 an hour.

Events escalated as Police were called to the retirement village last Friday to check on residents after the staff walk out at 2pm.

Many hit breaking point after being fearful of repercussions if they had acted sooner.

However, the 16 residents haven’t been completely abandoned as some staff returned to care for them as volunteers.

A number of staff live on the property, and have been providing food – out of their own pocket – help feed the residents.

This particular retirement village is not a Commonwealth-approved aged care provider and does not receive subsidies or funding to provide aged care services.

A government spokeswoman has said people with a disability were relocated to an appropriate facility.

The Berkeley Living facility is already under scrutiny as their current director is Deyar Musa, a 25-year-old man who was convicted of drug possession in 2016.

On top of that, there is also Berkeley Living’s connection with former aged care magnate Stephen Snowden, who is a convicted criminal, bankrupt and rumoured to have ties with underworld figures.

Snowden’s Cambridge Aged Care was previously was under investigation from the Department of Health and the Victorian Coroner for substandard care.

And until June 2012, Cambridge was providing welfare services to Berkeley retirement village, including meals and support services.

Fairfax media reported that more than 30 families, who had apartments in the retirement village and later sold to new owners when the resident left or died, never received any of the sale proceeds.

On Saturday, An Aged Care Assessment team, Salvation Army and Monash Health were sent to inspect the resident’s at the facility.

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  1. Sadly our current system does not have an accountable body overseeing and preventing this from happening . The worst part of these mistakes and tragedies is do we take them away learn from them and prevent them ever happening again. The staff were certainly not supported or respectfully treated in this situation …neither did the residents get the required and quality of standards and care they were entitled to. Certainly a human rights issue . Let’s hope our government and governing bodies and nation can learn from this and never allow it to happen again . Sadly change comes from experiencing the worst . My thoughts are with all the residents and their families. I hope they are in exceptional care tonight . To the staff , you should have never been placed in this position and unsupported like you have been .

    1. That facility is private, so unfortunately would be much easier to fly under the radar. If it is not Government funded you can’t go to the Department of Health, Aged Care Quality Agency or the Aged Care Complaints Commission

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