St Luke’s staff could be owed more than $1 million in back pay due to an incorrect application of their enterprise bargaining agreement.
The “administrative error” has affected about 60 staff who work in residential care and some former staff.
St Luke’s chief executive David Pugh said he was disappointed the underpayments had occurred.
He said he was notified of the issue in the middle of last year.
“It was brought to my attention that there have been errors in the calculations of overtime payments to staff who work in our residential care units,” he said.
“St Luke’s employs 380 staff, and approximately 60 current and a number of past staff may be affected by this administrative error.
“We immediately involved staff members and engaged the ASU (Australian Services Union) to help us work out how to best resolve these issues.”
ASU assistant branch secretary Lisa Darmanin said there were issues with the application of shift allowances and penalties because residential carers worked shift work.
“Our estimation is the amounts will total at least $1 million,” she said.
Ms Darmanin said the union hoped to work with St Luke’s to solve the “complicated” problem. “They have engaged accountants to look at what exactly the amount will be in terms of what’s owed to staff,” she said.
“That’s happening at the moment.
“We are hopeful of engaging with St Luke’s to sort through the massive issue and ensure people are getting what they are entitled.
“Obviously, because the amount is so large and there are so many staff involved, this could take a significant amount of time.”
Mr Pugh said St Luke’s had notified all affected staff that they would be paid back the entitlements owed to them.
“We have been having regular consultation with staff and the union, and have also made staff aware that the back pay calculations are complex, and it will take some time for us to finalise the payments,” he said.
“There are many thousands of calculations which need to be made.
“We know that this has been a trying and long process for affected staff members, and management is doing its very best to resolve this as soon as possible.
“The next meeting we have scheduled with staff and the union is in early February and we believe that this meeting should resolve all issues.”