26 March 2021
“We have had a Royal Commission, the jury is in. The Morrison Government must respond.’’
So said Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing Mark Butler in his address to Federal Parliament this week after meeting with some of the “amazing people” who work in aged care.
“They came to Canberra via their trade unions, the United Workers Union and the ANMF,’’ Mr Butler said. “Their message to me was clear. Aged care is in crisis.
“Those workers didn’t need a Royal Commission to learn this truth. They live it every day.
“They are often so understaffed they’re not able to clean residents who have soiled themselves in a timely manner, even during meal-times.
“It’s clear that at a paltry $22 an hour these workers are over worked and they’re underpaid. They simply don’t have enough time to care.
“These workers desperately want to know when they can tell residents in their care that they will have the time to care for them properly and safely.
“Their dedication to their work, the love they feel for their residents is just so powerful. Despite the low wages, the inadequate staffing levels and a strenuous working environment they still turn up to work every day to perform some of our society’s most important work.
“The time for band-aids, the time for relying on the ‘above and beyond’ ethic and the dedication of aged care staff is over.
“It’s time for real action … it’s time to fix it.’’
Whilst the ANMF welcomes Mr Butler’s support to fix the issues facing the aged care sector, we are equally keen to see a commitment to real action from the Labor Party if they were elected to power in the future.