Carramar to close its doors.
Carramar to close its doors. Contributed

Staff pay cuts, jobs on line as aged care facility closes

AFTER more than 40 years of service to the community, Carramar Hostel is set to shut its doors.

The huge College Rd facility will cease operation as an aged care centre, with staff understood to be facing pay cuts, cuts to hours and in some cases redundancy packages.

Despite the completion of a new $14 million facility at Alice St, it's a bitter blow for impacted staff and families.

Local spokesperson for trade union United Voice, Diann Fenwick, said workers had the rug pulled out from under them.

"This is a slap in the face for our local aged care workers, who rely on their income to put food on the table and pay their bills," Ms Fenwick said.

"It's not what the people of Stanthorpe expect from a church-based organisation at this time of year. Isn't Easter meant to be about new beginnings, not tragic endings?"

According to the union, more than 40 staff face cuts to hours and pay under new rosters that will kick in over Easter when the centre moves location.

Under the new rosters, an environmental services worker responsible for cleaning, laundry and kitchen work could have up to 25 hours, or $542, per fortnight slashed.

"Shift lengths are being slashed from eight down to five hours. Some workers are facing a pay cut of up to $271 a week - that is someone's rent. It's just not right.

"What's worse is that despite knowing this move was coming, centre management has left it to the last minute to reveal these horrible cuts.

"The current centre was built in 1974 by our community, for our community, and it has served us well. Our whole community will suffer if these cruel cuts are allowed to go ahead."

Director of Seniors and Supported Living Bryan Mason said Churches of Christ Care will continue to provide care and facilities for up to 103 residents at the newly-built Villa Carramar facility.

"We are hoping to have our residents settled comfortably into their new homes by the end of March, though this will ultimately be determined by what best meets the individual needs of our residents and families," Mr Mason said.

"We will offer continuing employment for staff from Carramar Hostel at Villa Carramar Aged Care Service where possible, if they wish, and will work closely with every affected staff member to discuss their unique circumstances."

As for the future of the Carramar Hostel, Churches of Christ in Queensland is currently determining the best use of the site, which will no longer be used to deliver aged care services.

The organisation has stated that no resident will be financially disadvantaged by the move.

"Right now, we are focussed on embarking on the next chapter of the Villa Carramar journey and transitioning our residents and staff."

Stanthorpe Border Post

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