Medibank offer ‘giant step backwards’ for nurses

Thursday 14th December, 2017

The country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is calling on members to reject the proposed Medibank Enterprise Agreement for telehealth nurses.

A/Federal Secretary Annie Butler said the ANMF views the agreement as a “giant step backwards” for the future of employment for nurses at Medibank.

“Medibank has rejected all of the issues raised by our nurses and despite the strong concerns we have expressed they have made absolutely no changes to the current unfair and inequitable performance pay and annual salary review system.

“Nurses doing the same work receive widely different rates of pay and receive different annual pay increases. Medibank expects them to accept conditions of employment that offer:

  • no agreement to pay shift allowances on the whole shift.
  • no improvement in rostering practices.
  • no commitment to address workload and call time issues and unfair KPI formulas.
  • no agreement to increase the paid rest breaks from 10 to 15 minutes.
  • no improvements to processing of annual leave applications.

“What is being offered, however, is something ironically called “Flexible Employment” which has serious implications for the future of regular, predictable hours work and income.

“Telehealth nurses will be employed on minimum hours contracts and be required to be available for a certain number of hours when there is in fact no work guaranteed.

“The alleged ‘flexibility’ is all for Medibank and this clause is completely one-sided flexibility.

“Medibank will have the option to minimise the number of regular hours of employment and maximise the number of ‘flexible’ hours with no certainty of work or income.

“What’s even more galling is that the clause provides just seven days’ notice of the requirement to work and absolutely no payment if work is cancelled.

“Shifts can be cancelled without any notice.

“We are giving Medibank notice that this is not acceptable.

“We are encouraging our members to send a clear message that these cuts and attacks on employment conditions are not acceptable. Our members will be voting NO,” Ms Butler said.

Voting on the Medibank Enterprise Agreement closes at 2pm on Monday December 18, 2017.

The ANMF, with over 259,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.

ANMF media enquiries: Cindy Jones 0408 168 791