Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union claim Blue Care of slashing jobs during COVID-19 pandemic

CUTBACKS: Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union claim Blue Care are slashing frontline staff and greatly reducing hours of care for elderly residents.
CUTBACKS: Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union claim Blue Care are slashing frontline staff and greatly reducing hours of care for elderly residents.

BLUE Care have hit back at claims they were making staff cuts at their 28 Queensland facilities, including Alexandra Hills Nandeebie aged care centre and Wirunya retirement village in Carbrook.

This comes after Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union secretary Beth Mohle said the private aged care providers were slashing frontline staff and greatly reducing hours of care for elderly residents.

Ms Mohle said adverse changes were occurring at a growing number of Queensland facilities, seemingly without consultation with residents or their families. She said cuts of this scale could impact pandemic response and visitors, staff and resident checks.

"The QNMU is gravely concerned for the wellbeing of thousands of elderly Queensland residents in impacted facilities,'' she said.

She said rolling state-wide cuts were being made despite the ongoing pandemic, additional funding from the Federal Government and the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

However, the operator of Blue Care, UnitingCare Queensland said the claims made by the QNMU were factually incorrect and misleading.

"The very small number of adjustments recently made in some of our aged care teams have affected less than a quarter of one per cent (0.25 per cent) of our entire aged care workforce, and the majority of the employees affected have been successfully redeployed into other newly-created roles," a UnitingCare spokesperson said.

He said Blue Care's number of aged care employees had not decreased in 2020 and they were regularly recruiting registered nurses, enrolled nurses and personal carers.

According to Ms Mohle, QNMU had requested clarification and details from Blue Care regarding the number of jobs, hours and positions to be cut.

The QNMU had referred the matter to the Fair Work Commission.