ANMF (Vic Branch) has negotiated above-agreement redundancy packages for Healthscope nurses who are losing their jobs with the shock closure of the company’s Cotham Private and Geelong Private hospitals.
Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy offered hope to more than 200 nurses being made redundant by the closures, announcing the Andrews Government would identify 117 job opportunities within Barwon Health and other positions in some metropolitan networks.
Ms Hennessy said that Healthscope nurses who were losing their jobs would be given preference for the positions.
Healthscope announced on 22 May that Cotham Private Hospital in Kew and Geelong Private Hospital would both be closed gradually over the following four weeks, saying they were no longer financially viable. The closures meant the loss of 417 jobs across the two hospitals.
Severance pay for Healthscope nurses negotiated by ANMF (Vic Branch) ranged from four weeks’ pay for nurses who had worked for the company for one-two years, to 20 weeks for nurses who had 25 years and over with the company – eight weeks more than severance pay under the enterprise agreement.
July 2018 rates of pay will be used to calculate severance payments and pay in lieu of notice.
Nurses who have been working for Healthscope for seven years or more will also receive greater long service leave payments than their entitlements under the agreement, ranging from 6.06 weeks (for seven-eight years’ service) to 1.76 weeks per year of service for nurses who have spent nine or more years with the company.
Long-term, regular casuals will receive a payment equivalent to 50 per cent of the enterprise agreement severance pay scale.
ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick described the closure of Healthscope’s facilities on 19 June and the accompanying loss of jobs as ‘incredibly distressing’ for the affected ANMF members and their families.
Ms Fitzpatrick said ANMF’s support for members included negotiating a redundancy package that reflected community standards, ensuring members received their entitlements and assistance with finding new positions.
‘We are very appreciative of the Andrews Government working so hard and so quickly to assist nurses and others gain employment. Our members’ gratitude was palpable at the meeting when Minister Hennessy made the announcement.’