Aged care: Cuts at Timaru facility

March 1, 2021

Job cuts and reductions in hours of work at Timaru’s Arvida-owned Strathallan aged-care facility have gone ahead, despite staff and community opposition.

NZNO organiser Stephanie Duncan said the restructure had cut 1.25 enrolled nurse positions, 3.5 full-time caregiving positions and combined the diversional therapy role with that of caregiving.

Staff believed the cuts would have a negative effect on residents’ overall wellbeing and increase the risk of falls, medication errors and staff fatigue.

“I believe the cuts are financially motivated to reduce wage costs,” she said.

The final instalment of the care and support workers equal pay settlement will come into effect on July 1 this year. The 2017 settlement considerably boosted caregivers’ wages.

“We will continue to put the pressure on and keep the public aware of what’s happening. We have written to the local MP, Jo Luxton, outlining our concerns. What’s happening at Strathallan is indicative of wider issues in the aged-care sector, such as unmanageable workloads,” Duncan said.