The wages gap between aged care and hospital care continues to grow each year. We need the federal government to fix the shortage of nursing staff in aged care by closing the wages gap, so we can deliver quality care.
We need the federal Government to fix the shortage of nursing staff in aged care by closing the wages gap between aged and hospital care.
- Investment of $494 million delivered in the 2012 Federal Budget can close the wages gap between aged and hospital care. Additional investment to maintain competitive wages would require additional funding of $97.9 million per annum indexed.
- Aged care falls through the cracks — only the Australian Government can close the wages gap in aged care.
The cost of closing the wages gap between aged and hospital care for nursing staff would cost $494 million in 2012. This investment would deliver competitive wages to aged care, and address the nursing staff shortages, putting aged care on firm foundations ahead of sector reform.
Aged care falls through the cracks.
Only the federal Government can close the wages gap in aged care. This is because competition for nursing staff in aged care comes from hospitals where nurses doing a similar job make between $168 and $390 on average more each week.
We can close the wages gap now through a National Framework agreement between government, aged care providers and nursing staff.
- A National Framework agreement providing additional funding to close the wages gap and implemented through enterprise bargaining is the best mechanism to deliver competitive wages in aged care.
- This mechanism remedies the failures of the past, by making sure additional funding goes to wages and delivering competitive wages quickly and with minimal disruption.
Closing the wages gap requires immediate action and the provision of additional tied funding.
A National Framework agreement between government, aged care providers and nursing staff would be delivered through enterprise bargaining and would:
- Enable aged care providers to access additional funding to pay competitive wages to nursing and care staff while maintaining care standards and enterprise flexibility;
- Guarantee that additional funding flowed through to wages through an enforceable industrial instrument that preserves existing sector industrial arrangements; and
- Deliver competitive wages to the sector quickly and effectively, complementing proposed reforms, and addressing existing staffing shortages.
‘The care of aged care residents would be improved with the right number of staff, the right mix of staff, improved stability of staff and proper pay. Aged care facilities are run on a shoestring.’ — Patricia Kun, Aged Care Resident
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Source and image credit: ANF