Later today, nurses and carers at two different aged care facilities in Victoria will stop work as a call to action for better staffing levels, wages and work conditions.

The Bupa run facilities in Ballarat and Clayton will hold stop work meetings with seven other homes across Victoria, after 14 months of pay negotiations with Bupa.  

It is yet to be released who the other seven aged care homes are, but they will be Bupa aged care facilities.

This comes after it was reported that Bupa’s Victorian staff workforce were “overstretched”.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation says a nurse or carer employed at Bupa earns 10 per cent less than their peers at other facilities.

“Bupa nurses and carers are escalating their action to ensure Victorians understand the stress, the difficulties and the reality of missed care when patient workloads are too high,”  says ANMF’s Victorian secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick.

“Nurses and carers will be reluctantly stopping work and will ensure this action does not affect the health or welfare of the people in their care.”

“It’s not like you’re tucking these residents into bed at 9pm and seeing them in the morning”.

“It is extraordinary the work that has to be done at night… and nurses and carers are overstretched.

“They are required to look after 24 residents each.”

Last week, Bupa released a statement that they were working with the unions to come to an agreement.

“We remain committed to bargaining in good faith with the unions to finalise a new enterprise agreement for our Victorian workforce,” Bupa Aged Care chief nurse Maureen Berry said in a statement to AAP.

“In the event of any protected industrial action being taken, the safety, health and well-being of our residents remains our focus and will not be impacted.”

Fitzpatrick has explained that today’s actions were necessary to ensure that conditions to not get worse for the staff and residents at Bupa Aged Care, “if they do nothing Bupa will cut nursing positions and staffing levels will be even lower,’ Ms Fitzpatrick said.

‘The result of getting rid of nurses is not improved patient care, its increased profits.

“Victorians should be concerned there’s no mechanism in the federal aged care law, state regulations or the aged care complaints scheme that makes Bupa accountable for having transparent qualified staffing levels,” she said.

“I’m extremely proud of all the Bupa nurses and carers who are standing up to considerable intimidation from some Bupa managers and taking unprecedented action to improve patient care in their nursing homes.”

“They’re standing up for the kind of quality aged care all Victorians want for their loved ones.”

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