ANMF supporting campaign for safe staffing in Victorian nursing homes

Wednesday 25th October, 2017

The Federal Office of Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is standing in solidarity with their colleagues from the ANMF Victorian branch in their campaign for safe staffing levels and better wages in Bupa nursing homes across Victoria.

ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler said it was time the Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt intervened in the long-running wage dispute to ensure that vulnerable residents at Bupa’s 26 aged care facilities were not put at risk as a result of the provider “continuing to put profits before care for residents”.

“We’re concerned that Bupa’s wage negotiations with the ANMF Victorian branch have failed to address the inadequate staffing levels that are urgently needed if elderly residents at their aged care facilities are to receive the care they deserve,” Ms Butler said today.

“Unfortunately, the campaign our ANMF Victorian branch is running against Bupa is a snapshot of what’s occurring at nursing homes across the country, where providers are putting profits before people, sacking nurses and slashing thousands of nursing hours.

“The ANMF Victorian branch has been unable to recommend Bupa’s wage offer to its members because it simply does not address the inadequate staffing that is compromising the care being provided to elderly residents of Bupa’s nursing homes.

“This includes the number of nurses and carers being rostered on every shift, particularly night shift where we know that often just one carer is allocated to care for between 20-25 residents and the failure of Bupa management to replace nurses and carers on unplanned leave.

“The ANMF Victorian branch is continuing with its unprecedented action against Bupa and is working hard to achieve safe staffing levels through its ongoing negotiations with Bupa management, but the ANMF Federal Office believes it’s now time for the Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt to intervene and ensure that residents are getting the safe and proper care they require. And to guarantee that taxpayers’ money used to fund aged care facilities will be used to provide direct care to residents.

“Without mandated staffing levels or care hours in the aged care sector, the Federal Government is allowing providers like Bupa to determine ‘adequate’ levels of care and, as we are seeing at nursing homes across the country, providers can’t be trusted to do this in good faith.”

Ms Butler will address a rally of Victorian Bupa nurses, carers and their supporters staging a protest outside Bupa’s corporate HQ in the Melbourne CBD today.

The ANMF, with 270,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.  

ANMF media inquiries: 0411 254 390.