Aged care workers push for ratios, higher wages

Rose Mumbler staff and residents with Labor's Gilmore candidate Fiona Phillips and Health Services Union organiser Meri Bosevski.
Rose Mumbler staff and residents with Labor's Gilmore candidate Fiona Phillips and Health Services Union organiser Meri Bosevski.

Staff at Rose Mumbler Village were thanked and celebrated on Wednesday, as part of a nationwide event calling for better pay and conditions for those in the aged care industry. 

Thank You For Working in Aged Care Day was organised by the Health Services Union, in an effort to recognise those working in what has been labelled a “thankless industry”. 

Health Services Union organiser Meri Bosevski and Labor's Gilmore candidate Fiona Phillips visited the aged care facility to back the calls for increased pay and the introduction of ratios. 

“There is no ratio at the moment and there absolutely needs to be one,” Ms Bosevki said. 

“In most aged care facilities there is usually only one person looking after 20 elderly people on a night shift, and that’s just ridiculous.” 

Ms Phillips said she was “very supportive” of the introduction of ratios in aged care facilities. 

“Our aged care workers do an amazing job and the care really is there for the residents,” she said.

“But a lot of the time there isn’t enough staff, and that’s a common story I hear.” 

Another issue faced by aged care workers is the low wages, according to Ms Bosevski, which deters a lot of people from entering the profession. 

“People are reluctant to take this on as a career a lot of the time,” she said. 

“We want to the federal government to know that enough is enough with the cuts to aged care funding, we want reliable and sustainable funding.” 

Ms Phillips said increasing wages for aged care workers was on Labor’s agenda. 

“Labor wants higher wages because the growth has been so stagnant,” she said. 

“[The Shoalhaven has] the second highest number of age pensioners in Australia so it’s a big issue in this area,” she said.

“I think its extraordinary we have such high unemployment rate and such demand for age care workers and I’m certainly focused on that.” 

The Our Turn to Care initiative launched by the Health Services Union asks politicians to commit to provide quality care for all older Australians by delivering increased and sustainable funding.

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