A coalition of aged care groups, including the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, have come together at the Federal Government’s Jobs and Skills summit to release a set of shared aims to improve the sector.
The coalition, which includes other unions, advocacy organisations, aged care providers and research groups, focused on a mix of industrial and patient-centred goals, linking factors such as affordable housing, improved remuneration, career pathways to the provision of “quality care for all older Australians”.
The goals of the body, listed in full are below:
- Ensure quality care for all older Australians delivered by a valued aged care workforce in quality, secure jobs.
- Immediately implement any decision coming out of the Fair Work Commission’s Aged Care Work Value Case to introduce better remuneration for the aged care workforce.
- Secure a genuine long-term commitment from Government to link sector funding to pay decisions.
- Introduce a nationwide scheme to waive/reimburse fees (including HECS) for people who work in the health and aged care sectors, with additional incentives for people who choose to work in regional and remote areas.
- Identify and promote more attractive career pathways and incentives to specialise to encourage greater workforce retention.
- Commence discussions between the sector and all levels of government to ensure there are affordable housing options in communities for aged care workers, especially in regional and remote areas.
- Participate in consultation regarding sector wide bargaining that would include the Commonwealth’s participation
- Invest in better ways to systematically link long term unemployed and other groups of marginalised job seekers with the opportunity for a career in aged care and provide better and longer-term wrap around support once placed.
Other signatories to the statement include the United Workers Union, the Health Services Union, Catholic Health Australia, Uniting NSW.ACT, The Benevolent Society and Aged Care Research and Industry Innovation Australia.