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Protected industrial action at Bolton Clarke begins Monday 15 July

Protected industrial action at Bolton Clarke begins Monday 15 July

Bolton Clarke members overwhelmingly supported the taking of protected industrial action in the recent ballot, returning a yes vote of over 98 per cent.

Having provided the legally required three clear days’ notice to the employer, Stage 1 of the protected industrial action will begin on Monday 15 July. This will include wearing t-shirts; bans on collecting or recording data (excluding any report directly related to patient/resident or staff safety); writing chalk pen messages on cars; refusal to be redeployed etc.

ANMF (Vic Branch) has begun distributing t-shirts to Bolton Clarke members, and has prepared a ‘dear patient/resident/client’ letter for members to provide, along with bumper stickers and chalk pens. We are also arranging mobile billboards to visit Bolton Clarke facilities from 15 July.

The threat of action has been enough to force Bolton Clarke to issue a bargaining update, inclusive of a meagre 2% wages offer (up from 0%).

Not 2% per year of the agreement, but 2% over the life of the agreement.

ANMF and members recognise and reject this for the woefully inadequate offer that it is. It is also significantly less than what all other employers in aged care are offering. Here are a few recent examples (all on much better current rates than Bolton Clarke):

  • Uniting Agewell: 2.75% per annum for four years
  • Doutta Galla: a four-year agreement with 4% in the first year, followed by 3.25%, 3.25% and 3% in subsequent years
  • Respect: a four-year agreement with 4.75% in the first year, and 3.5% in each of the following years
  • Adventcare: 3.5% each year over three years.

This insulting offer comes on top of Bolton Clarke having not passed on the full 15% Stage 2 aged care work value uplift – unlike every other private and not for profit aged care provider – because they refused to increase shift, on-call and other allowances in line with the work value uplift.

Like every other aged care provider, Bolton Clarke was funded by the Commonwealth to pass on the Stage 2 work value uplift. By not passing on the full amount – and now only offering a 2% wage increase over four years – ANMF believes that Bolton Clarke is effectively denying members money that the Commonwealth has provided for their wage increases.

Other providers are offering annual improved pay rises: why aren’t Bolton Clarke?

What are members seeking?

Bolton Clarke comprises three former organisations, and their respective EBAs:

  • Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS)
  • RSL Care Limited
  • Bolton Clarke Allity.

Each former agreement had different conditions. Bolton Clarke has consistently said that the rates for each classification level in the new EBA will be the lowest of the three expired enterprise agreements (though at time of writing they had indicated that they may be rethinking this).

All rates as at 1 July 2024 RN Gr 2 Year RN After-Hours Coordinator or CCC (RN Gr5) EN med endorsed top rate (*= 4% med allow paid to all ENs separately) Cert III Carer top rate Cert IV Carer top rate
  $ per week $ per week $ per week $ per week $ per week
Bolton Clarke proposed rates (using lowest of the three expired EA rates, with 2% offer increase) 1821.15 (Allity) 2261.26 (RSL) 1362.42 (RSL) 1190.32 (RSL) 1269.55 (Allity) but not an automatic progression if you hold a cert IV, unlike other Victorian providers
Baptcare 1901.13 2321.55 1450.17* 1270.85 1318.43
Blue Cross 1907.69 2333.31 1513.99 1248.47 1295.43
Brotherhood of St Laurence 1913.01 2394.38 1568.73 1293.52 1340.64
Calvary 1907.22 2323.32 1518.48 1263.12 1310.24
Estia 1863.76 2289.00 1484.00 1234.33 1280.29
Menarock 1850.98 2185.00 1449.32 1243.36 1285.54
St Vincents care Services 1863.94 2305.49 1484.29* 1265.75 1282.49
Uniting Agewell 1903.90 2336.96 1531.65 1255.78 1303.27

While members engage in protected industrial action, ANMF will continue to bargain with Bolton Clarke. We are seeking, at minimum, that Bolton Clarke:

  1. Provide an increase to all salary and allowances in the EBA to ensure parity with the Victorian public health sector from 30 June 2024. This will become the agreement base rate of pay for all employees (where an employee is already paid higher than the new Agreement base rate, that employee will remain on the higher rate as their individual base rate).
  2. Provide a further per annum increase to base rates of pay, by provision of a 4% increase or the minimum wage case outcome, whichever is higher, on 30 June each year of the Agreement (including 2024).
  3. Notwithstanding 1 and 2 above, as a minimum any increases in the new agreement will be applied to the highest wage rate for each classification applying to the RDNS, RSL Care or Allity EA.

Bolton Clarke members are encouraged to recruit your work colleagues to join ANMF, if they are not already members – we are stronger together and we can achieve more if we have higher membership.

Bolton Clarke members and all other ANMF members are encouraged to sign our petition.