Queensland rally over job cuts kicks off a week of lobbying

A “Rally for the Elderly” will be held in Bundaberg tomorrow with the support of the ANMF, in response to job cuts by aged care providers in the area.

The union says Blue Care may sack up to 11 nurses and dramatically cut the rostered hours of other registered and enrolled nurses at three of its Bundaberg facilities.

It follows a walk out by staff at Synovum’s Wynard Care Centre for the second time this year over their expired work agreement.

Health and Community Services Union assistant state secretary, Robbie Moore, spoke to the workers outside the facility during the 30 minute lunch-time strike and said one action staff had taken was to ban office work relating to ACFI claims.

Staff have been disputing with Synovum Care Group, the facility owner and manager, over proposed pay and condition changes. Discussions are understood to have broken down to a point where they are now between lawyers and the union.

Meanwhile, Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said ANMF members were encouraged by the Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten’s interview on 7.30 last week, during which he said the crisis in aged care has become a national disgrace.

“When it comes to aged care facilities, no question in my mind, we need to make sure we have the right number of nurses on duty, are we getting the right training for people, are we charging too much in our TAFE to train people to do this vital work in the future?” Mr Shorten said.

“$2 billion was cut from aged care since the Liberals have been in. There is plenty to be done there to help make sure we get better standards.”

“I think some of the large companies, who are reaping pretty big amounts out of the aged care bonds, and large companies found to not be doing the right thing, are not the solution in aged care,” he said.

Last week the three largest industry peak bodies joined forces to pay for an advertisement in the Australian Financial Review that served as a joint letter to parliamentarians.

In the letter, titled “More Reform Needed in Aged Care”, the CEOs of ACSA, the Age Care Guild and LASA outlined their respective arguments for additional funding to support aged care providers.

When asked about the Governments’ response, a spokeswoman for Minister Wyatt said the legislative review has been received and will be tabled soon and the Minister is looking forward to continuing to work with industry and consumer stakeholders on future aged care policy.

The ANMF’s campaign to “Fix Aged Care” will continue later in the week with meetings with the Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM and Shadow Minister Julie Collins.


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