Australia

Vic Bupa nurses and carers 'overstretched'

The "overstretched" nurses and carers at nine Victorian Bupa nursing homes are set to stop work in a bid to improve staffing levels, wages and conditions.

Bupa's "overstretched" Victorian aged care workers will stop work in a bid to improve staffing levels, wages and conditions.

Nurses and carers at nine Bupa nursing homes will hold stop work meetings from Monday, following the company's recent decision to make some nursing positions redundant across the country.

Bupa says it is committed to finalising a pay deal with staff, but the union says they are struggling to provide elderly residents with adequate care.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation says in one Victorian Bupa nursing home, two nurses and four carers are responsible for 144 residents overnight.

"It's not like you're tucking these residents into bed at 9pm and seeing them in the morning," Victorian secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick told AAP on Friday.

"It is extraordinary the work that has to be done at night... and nurses and carers are overstretched.

"They are required to look after 24 residents each."

Currently, there is is no mandatory minimum staff-to-patient ratio.

Federal legislation only states that aged care facilities must have an "appropriate level" of staff and care.

The industrial action follows a week of campaigning by more than 1000 Bupa aged care workers and 14 months of negotiations with the company.

The current pay offer from Bupa is an 11.25 per cent wage increase over three years.

But nurses and carers want a rise of around 10 per cent over four years, on top of "catch up rates" to meet industry standards.

The union says a registered nurse employed at Bupa earns $4732 less per year than counterparts in the industry.

"We remain committed to bargaining in good faith with the unions to finalise a new enterprise agreement for our Victorian workforce," Bupa Aged Care chief nurse Maureen Berry said in a statement to AAP.

"In the event of any protected industrial action being taken, the safety, health and well-being of our residents remains our focus and will not be impacted."