FIVE representatives from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) trekked to Echuca’s Bupa retirement village to take a stand against unfair work conditions.
As two-hour strikes are taking place across many of Victoria’s Bupa facilities, ANMF’s industrial officer Sandra Bonavai says the industrial action is integral for employee’s futures.
The recent protests in Melbourne saw 400 ANMF members walk off the job and demand better wages and improved work load management.
‘‘The campaign started with wearing the red t-shirts.’’ she said.
‘‘Now there’s been protests in Melbourne and we’ve seen changes start to happen.’’
Bupa has increased its wage offer from 2.1 per cent to 11.25 per cent due to the increased pressure from its workers. However there has been no inclination on back pay or when this offer will begin. Bupa has also remained silent on fixing the issues surrounding the work loads demanded of staff at the nursing homes.
‘‘Depending on the facility, there’s about one registered nurse per 20-30 patients,’’ Sandra said.
‘‘This is a massive amount of work and it is unacceptable.
Whilst the demonstration in Echuca was small, it plays a pivotal role in the overall fight for better working conditions and fairer wages. With a tribunal taking place in Melbourne aimed at discussing the work load management issues, Sandra and the other ANMF representatives are hopeful but insist that there is more action to come.