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The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has recorded a 4.9% increase in its membership as of 31 December 2020, rising to a record 302,969 members and cementing its position as the country’s largest union.

ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler said the latest figures endorsed the union’s commitment to advocating for members across health, aged care, industrial, professional, social justice and political issues.

Since 2015, the ANMF’s membership has grown an average of 3 to 3.5% per year.

Ms Butler attributed the recent spike in membership to the union’s growing national profile and influence, highlighted by its leadership throughout the past two years during Aged Care Royal Commission and core campaign pushing for mandated minimum staffing levels and skills mix in aged care.

The ANMF also provided timely and accurate information and support to nurses, midwives and carers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she added, and it will continue to do so as the nation recovers and begins its vaccine rollout strategy.

“The last two years have been extremely challenging, with the Aged Care Royal Commission putting aged care workers and the underfunded and under-resourced sector in the spotlight, and tragically exposing its weaknesses,” Ms Butler said.

“The ANMF and its members have come together across the country to fight to improve conditions in aged care for staff and residents. The Aged Care Royal Commission will hand down its final report and recommendations next week. We will continue to speak out and strongly lobby for meaningful change on staffing levels, skill mixes and transparency of government funding so that we can finally fix aged care and give vulnerable elderly residents the care they need and deserve.”

Ms Butler said the ANMF would continue to fight hard to achieve outcomes for members and strengthen the contribution of nurses, midwives and carers to improving Australia’s health and aged care systems.

“There’s never been a more critical time to join the union movement. We’ve just seen, during the COVID-19 pandemic and with the ongoing crisis in aged care, how important engagement and collective action are to achieving outcomes.”