An industrial relations fight between Bupa Aged Care and the ANMF has become very public with the union parking a large billboard outside Bupa’s Echuca facility encouraging nurses to vote against their latest pay offer.
The proposal, which includes a 2.3 per cent wage increase, was due to be voted on today.
The ANMF says Bupa is one of the lowest paying providers in Victoria, and despite ongoing funding cuts it is still making reasonable profit – a claim that Bupa says is not true.
‘‘The increase in government funding to care for our residents was just 1 per cent for the final year of the current agreement with no increase for 2017, which means a higher offer is not sustainable,” a spokesperson said in an interview with the Riverine Herald.
‘‘We do not know what the future holds in respect to cost of living pressures on our people and the aged care funding environment and would like to have that certainty before we reach a long-term agreement to ensure we reach a fair deal for staff and for how our business will operate.’’
“While we would obviously like to be able to give staff more, the offer is higher than the average wage increase in Victoria of 1.9 per cent, as well as inflation,’’ he said.
While two Bupa facilities were named in the ACAR today, the funding was for four additional places in Wodonga and 36 places in Gosford.
The ANMF billboard which says “Vote No – because Bupa shouldn’t be one of Victoria’s 10 lowest paying nursing homes” is parked on a main street outside the Echuca facility.
Victoria branch secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said the wages negotiations with Bupa have lagged other similar providers and the current offer is not good enough.
‘‘We’ve negotiated wage rises of 10 per cent over four years and other improvements with similar large aged care groups, who are already paying much higher wages than Bupa and are facing the same funding cuts,” she said.
‘‘If Bupa doesn’t have enough it should be dipping into its profits or calling on the Federal Government to increase aged care funding instead of asking its staff to give a little more.’’