The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation is highlighting the fact that aged care workers need genuine respect on Aged Care Employee Day.
Already working under trying conditions, aged care workers from around the country are now dealing with the horrific challenges the COVID 19 pandemic has created.
On Aged Care Employee Day, the ANMF and aged care workers are saying, “It’s not what you say, it’s what you do.”
Jen, (not pictured) who works in aged care, said “it’s not your thanks that counts, but your behaviour,” in a message to the government and providers.
“Thanks doesn’t give me enough staff to care for 90 residents properly,” she said.
“Your thanks doesn’t change my working conditions or rostering enough staff.
“It’s not enough to thank me. I need a system that supports the work I do for older Australians.”
The ANMF said providers and the federal government wanted to say thanks but had refused to commit to any real action for older Australians and workers in aged care, which is desperately needed.
According to the ANMF, their aged care members were tired of constant staff cutbacks, which made it impossible to provide residents with the care they needed.
The union said that in Tasmania alone aged care workers were reporting staffing of one registered nurse to 130 residents with half of those in high care, in some facilities.
Safe staffing laws, taxpayer funding transparency, clear federal regulation and paid pandemic leave, is what aged care workers needed to care and support their residents safely, the ANMF stressed.
“The ANMF has warned successive governments about dangerous understaffing in nursing homes and has been calling for mandated staffing ratios, the urgent need for improved wages and working conditions and increased transparency and accountability around the billions of dollars in taxpayer-funding given to aged care providers, for more than a decade,” said ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler.
“Those responsible for the chronic systemic failures of the aged care sector, from governments and politicians to providers and employers, must be held accountable. Aged care nurses and carers have our respect and our support.”
Ms Butler said the ANMF would continue to fight and call on politicians and providers to fix the system once and for all.