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Labor’s election commitments bring hope to aged care workers

Monday 11th April, 2022

On 31 March, in his Budget reply speech, the Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese, gave hope to aged care nurses and workers and older Australians across the country by committing to fixing aged care if Labor is elected to Government.

Anthony Albanese said “It is time to protect ageing and vulnerable Australians. They must be safe, properly fed and provided with the care and support they need to live in dignity”.

He declared that a Labor Government would start tackling the crisis in aged care by putting nurses back into nursing homes.

A Labor Government will make it law that every nursing home in the country has a registered nurse on the premises at all times.

ANMF members have been campaigning for 24/7 registered nurse presence in every nursing home for many years. We know that having qualified nurses on site is critical to improving care for older Australians living in nursing homes.  

Only Labor has committed to supporting and fully funding a wage increase for all aged care workers
 
Labor, if elected, will support the Work Value Case currently before the Fair Work Commission in which the ANMF is seeking a wage rise on your behalf, of up to 25%. We know how hard you have worked, and that you deserve a significant wage increase. A Labor Government will support and fully fund this increase which is significant as the Morrison Government has not made a similar commitment.
 
Labor also committed to:

  • Mandating a minimum care standard – 215 minutes (3.6 hours) per resident/per day
  • Legislating a requirement for tax payer’s money to be spent directly on care
  • Mandating a minimum nutrition standard for nursing homes.

Many aged care nurses, who have left the sector because the crisis has simply become too much to bear, have told us that they would return to aged care if there were safe workloads, decent wages and support for them to provide quality care.

We also know that, when mandated minimum staffing levels have been introduced in other sectors and workloads were made safe, nurses returned in their thousands to the jobs they love.