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HSU members vote to take up the fight and Change Aged Care

Yesterday, over 100 activists and members came together from across the country to hear about the final recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission (ACRC).

Here’s a summary of the key recommendations for the aged care workforce:

  • Better wages: The ACRC acknowledged that the aged care workforce is undervalued and underpaid and endorsed the HSU Work Value Case to raise wages. This has a huge impact on our campaign – and strengthens our Fight For 25.
  • Mandated staffing levels: The ACRC recommended that each resident receives a minimum of 215 minutes of direct care per day and that employers must report on these staffing minutes. This would have a dramatic impact on staffing levels and would stop employers cutting hours to fit budgets.
  • A star rating system: The ACRC wants to see all residential aged care facilities rated against their quality and standards, staffing levels and the views of residents, their families and advocates. This would mean that instead of putting in chandeliers, employers would be putting more staff on the floor.
  • Better management: The ACRC called out aged care leaders and managers, arguing that the people who run aged care should have professional qualifications or a high-level of managerial experience.
  • Better training and education: The ACRC wants to see a review of the current Certificate III in Individual Support and wants all personal carers to have access to continued training in areas like palliative care, dementia care, oral and mental health, wound management as examples.
  • Aged Care Careers:  The ACRC wants to introduce minimum qualifications for personal carers (Cert III) to recognise that care work is skilled work. The ACRC also believes that personal carers should be allowed to specialise in particular areas like dementia or palliative care.

The Aged Care Royal Commission’s final recommendations have now been delivered to the Federal Government, which has said that it will respond in the May Federal Budget. This means we have just two months to make sure that the Federal Government acts and that the ACRC final report doesn’t gather dust like so many reports before it.

Now is the time for action.

At yesterday’s meeting members unanimously endorsed the following resolution:

That this meeting of HSU members calls on the Federal Government to immediately adopt recommendations that would properly value the aged care workforce and increasing staffing. Further HSU members commit to campaigning to Change Aged Care once and for all.

Members also signed up to meet with their local MPs over the coming weeks to drive our message home. If you want to take our message to your local MP you can sign up here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ac-mps-meeting

If you weren’t able to make yesterday’s meeting and have any questions, please contact your local HSU Organiser or Delegate or email agedcare@hsu.asn.au.

Finally, I want to thank all members across our aged care division. To those of you who have fought for decades, to those of you who took time out of your day to meet yesterday, to those of you who work every day to ensure older Australians live with dignity and respect – we treasure the effort you put in. Now let’s win this!