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ANMF negotiates above-agreement redundancy packages following shock hospital closures

Photo: ANMF
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Vic Branch) has been successful in negotiating above-agreement redundancy packages for Healthscope nurses who are losing their jobs, following the unexpected closure of the company’s Cotham Private and Geelong Private hospitals.

ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick described the closure of Healthscope’s facilities 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.

“Our members’ gratitude was palpable at the meeting when Minister Hennessy made the announcement that the Andrews Government would identify 117 job opportunities within Barwon Health and other positions in some metropolitan networks,” she said.
“We are very appreciative of the Andrews Government working so hard and so quickly to assist nurses and others gain employment.”

In May, Healthscope announced that Cotham Private Hospital in Kew and Geelong Private Hospital would close over the following four week period, due to financial inviability

The closures resulted in the loss of 417 jobs across the two hospitals.

Under the severance pay deal, negotiated by ANMF, Healthscope nurses would receive at least four weeks’ pay if they’d worked for the company for one-two years, or 20 weeks if they’d worked there for more than 25 years – eight weeks more than severance pay under the enterprise agreement.

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 1.733 weeks per year of service for nurses who have spent 10 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.

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Nicole Madigan

Nicole Madigan is a widely published journalist with more than 15 years experience in the media and communications industries.

Specialising in health, business, property and finance, Nicole writes regularly for numerous high-profile newspapers, magazines and online publications.

Before moving into freelance writing almost a decade ago, Nicole was an on-air reporter with Channel Nine and a newspaper journalist with News Limited.

Nicole is also the Director of content and communications agency Stella Communications (www.stellacomms.com) and a children's author.