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Media Alert: Budget fails aged care, say workers

Wednesday 30th March, 2022

What: Aged care workers and home care workers speak out about the impact of the Budget in their workplaces.

When: 9.50am for 10am TODAY, Wednesday, March 30.

Where: Senate Courtyard, Parliament House, Canberra.

Who: Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Federal Secretary Annie Butler and aged care members of the United Workers Union speak today after aged care workers kept aged care facilities from collapse during the Omicron wave.

Residential aged care workers come from South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia, home care workers come from NSW.

Background: With aged care spending hardly increased beyond last year’s announcements, United Workers Union aged care members will speak about the experience of working through Omicron and whether the Budget will address the aged care crisis.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation:

Exhausted nurses and aged care workers, beyond the point of burn out, simply cannot continue without the resources they desperately need to do their job and keep the community safe and well. The Government has once again failed to do its job, compromising the health of all Australians.

Despite chronic staffing shortages, the devastation of COVID and the disgraceful lack of respect for older Australians, Mr Morrison’s Budget shows that playing politics, not fixing aged care, is his Government’s top priority. One year into the Government’s five-year ‘reform program’, the reality is, nothing has improved, in fact the situation has only become worse.

ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler said: “Yet again, Mr Morrison has failed to do his job. We’re disappointed that the Budget has let down our critical health and aged workforce.

“We all know that the failures in care for the elderly are not one-off, exceptional or occasional - they are widespread. We have all seen the heart breaking consequences of the Government’s continued inaction – it simply must not continue.”

United Workers Union:

More than 900 deaths due to Covid this year exposed the Federal Government’s litany of failures in aged care, and last night’s Budget did nothing to address those failings, United Workers Union said today.

Ms Smith said the announced $49.5 million aged care training fund wouldn’t even paper over the cracks in a sector where 75 per cent of aged care workers say they want to leave the sector within five years.

“The Budget fiddles around the edges of the aged care crisis and the full-blown workforce crisis," Ms Smith said.

“In home care and residential aged care, the Budget has no announcements that address low pay rates that leave workers with barely enough to live on, working multiple jobs to feed themselves and their families.

“In residential aged care the Budget fails to address the widespread understaffing that leaves aged care workers rushing to provide even the most basic levels of care to older Australians who deserve much better.”

Media Contact: 1300 898 633, media@unitedworkers.org.au