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2013 private aged care: Don't turn your back on aged care

ANMF has begun enterprise bargaining on behalf of members employed in the private and not-for-profit aged care sector.

Victoria's aged care nurses and personal care workers care for frail and elderly residents who often have complex combinations of chronic/terminal illness and dementia. These residents require and deserve the expert nursing care of registered nurses, enrolled nurses and qualified personal care workers but, regrettably, they do not always receive it.

The number of registered nurses working in aged care facilities is at record low levels and this is taking its toll on the quality and safety of resident care. In 1997 the average ratio of registered nurses to residents was one per 30 residents across all shifts.

Today staffing can be as low as only one registered nurse to every 60 residents during the day and one registered nurse to between 90 and 120 residents at night. Increasingly enrolled nurses are being pressured to act in-charge.  Personal care workers are often inadequately trained to undertake increasingly complex roles.  Career structures and rates of pay do not reflect these changing circumstances.

This incongruous skill mix is exacerbated by low staffing numbers, meaning that nurses and personal care staff are often struggling to provide residents with the assessed degree of appropriate care.  

Another key reason for low levels of registered nurses employed in the private and not-for-profit aged care sector are the meagre wages, compared to the public acute and aged care sectors and private acute sector. Aged care facilities have difficulty attracting registered nurses because of wage differences of around 10 - 20 per cent less than public sector nurses doing the same work, depending on classification.

Benchmark minimum staffing levels, a skill mix that is capable of meeting the care needs of residents, funding accountability and better wages are critical issues that will determine the quality of care that Victorian nurses and personal care Workers can provide to our frail and elderly who can no longer live at home, or need care in their own homes.

This claim aims to address these crucial issues.

News

New Aged Care Workforce Supplement guidelines provide certainty for aged care employers - 1 August 2013
ANMF is urging private and not-for-profit aged care employers to finalise 120 replacement enterprise agreements following the release of the Federal Department of Health and Ageing's final Aged Care Workforce Supplement (formerly known as the Aged Care Compact) Guidelines. The guidelines, released on 1 July, set out how $1.2 billion in Commonwealth funding will be delivered to boost the wages of nurses, carers and other aged care employees. [ READ MORE ]
Five easy ways to support the 2013 Private Aged Care Campaign - 15 May 2013
Negotiations over the past decade have shown an increasing commitment from aged care members to support their campaigns for improved wages and conditions. [ READ MORE ]
Sale of Lend Lease Aged Care and Enterprise Bargaining - 7 March 2013
Meetings have been scheduled to discuss both (1) issues relating to the sale of Lend Lease Aged Care, and (2) the commencement of the enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) process which ANF will seek to commence with the new owner shortly after the transfer. [ READ MORE ]
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The Australian Nursing Federation (Victorian Branch) changed its name to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) on 26 July 2013

© Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch), 2006
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2013
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