Reflections on the big year of 2022

As we come to the end of another tumultuous year, the third in a row to be dominated by devastating floods, fires, health crises and global conflicts, what stands out most to me is the extraordinary perseverance and tenacity of ANMF members. 

In the midst of all that is going on in the world, ANMF members continue to fight for fairness and justice and a better world for all. This unending commitment is why we are finally starting to see the changes we need to put us on the road to better health and aged care and equality for all Australians.

I know for many of you, it may feel like there is no relief in sight as you navigate the daily battle to provide quality care. However, I can assure you that the wheels are finally in motion to fix health and aged care.

We now have a Federal Government, which has promised to make a genuine transformation to our health and aged care systems to a level that all Australians deserve. While we know promises are easy, and we will have much work to do in 2023 to hold the Government to their commitments, it is encouraging to see this government already working towards fulfilling their promises.

Since elected, the Albanese Government has introduced new Legislation to ensure every nursing home in Australia will have an RN on-site 24/7 and that residents will receive a minimum amount of safe, quality care every day. This historic piece of Legislation marks the first real step towards actually fixing the aged care sector.

Next year we will see wage rises for the aged care sector – the decision in November from the Fair Work Commission (FWC) provides for an interim increase of 15% for aged care nurses and care workers. The Government has committed to fully fund this initial increase, with further consideration of more increases by the FWC to come in 2023.

2023 will also see the implementation of legislated 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave (FDV) which will provide relief for many women and their families.

The Government will also implement new industrial relations laws, which will put gender equity at the heart of all decisions relating to workplace wages and conditions, potentially bringing welcome improvements for female-dominated industries.  

While we all want change now, the impacts of these new laws will take time. And there is still more work to be done.

Fighting for change is challenging, especially when working under extreme conditions. But we will not stop pressuring governments until we have fair and equitable healthcare and welfare for all.

United, we have achieved so much, and we will achieve more in the year to come.

Thank you to all our members, for all your work and care for the community, take care of yourselves this festive season.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones. We look forward to working with you in 2023.

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Annie Butler

Annie Butler Federal Secretary

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