Unions, providers, charities, research bodies and peak bodies have come together at the Jobs and Skills Summit to issue a joint statement of common interests for much-needed reform to support the aged care workforce.
An earlier story written by Prof David Peetz from Griffith University cited the need for tripartism (discussions between the government, business and unions) to deal with many of the workforce issues before the summit. Read it here…
The statement is signed by the Health Sector Union, United Workers Union, the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation, Catholic Health Australia, Uniting NSW.ACT, the Benevolent Society, and Aged Care Research and Industry Innovation Australia. They call on the Albanese Government to:
1. Ensure quality care for all older Australians delivered by a valued aged care workforce in quality, secure jobs.
2. 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.
3. Secure a genuine long-term commitment from Government to link sector funding to pay decisions.
4. 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.
5. Identify and promote more attractive career pathways and incentives to specialise to encourage greater workforce retention.
6. 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.
7. Participate in consultation regarding sector-wide bargaining that would include the Commonwealth’s participation
8. 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.
Pat Garcia, CEO, Catholic Health Australia; Lauren Hutchins, Assistant Secretary, Health Services Union NSW|ACT|QLD; Carolyn Smith, Aged Care Director, United Workers Union; Saviour Buhagiar, Director Seniors Services, Uniting NSW.ACT; Annie Butler, Federal Secretary, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation; Lin Hatfield Dodds, Chief Executive Officer, The Benevolent Society; Prof Sue Gordon, Aged Care Research and Industry Innovation Australia; Prof Sara Charlesworth, School of Management, RMIT University