No end in sight for aged care industrial dispute

About 20 days into industrial action, Bupa Wodonga management and union members appear no closer to a resolution.

Bupa Wodonga is just one of three branches statewide not to have moved to, or announced a plan to move to, stage-two industrial action.

Stage-one consisted of wearing red ‘Value Recognise Reward’ campaign t-shirts and distributing campaign information.

Stage-two of the actions consists of a ban on aged care funding paperwork and working to rosters unless overtime is approved in advance and in writing.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation were unable to confirm how many Wodonga staff were participating in the action.

A union spokeswoman said Bupa had improved its wage offer, but would not agree to improved staffing levels, replacing staff on unplanned leave or a clause to manage workloads.

Bupa management said their latest offer included an 11.25 per cent wage increase over three years, and protection of penalty rates including weekend loadings but the union did not accept the offer.

“Bupa is committed to ensuring staffing levels are appropriate to meet the assessed medical needs of all residents. This includes our decisions on replacing staff if a vacancy arises for sick or other leave,” a spokesman said.

“With the needs of each resident being different, and constantly changing across each home’s fluctuating resident population, our existing Enterprise Agreement already includes clauses on replacing staff and staff workloads as a guide and additional protection for our hardworking and dedicated workforce.

“We continue to have ongoing discussions with the union and are committed to negotiating in good faith.”

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