The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) has had a massive increase in membership, with almost 25,000 new members joining the union in the last year – a large amount from private sector aged care.
“Our new members include nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing, which is a real vote of confidence in the ANF,” ANF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas says.
Membership rose 13 per cent between June 2009 and August 2010. ANF’s membership now stands at over 192,000 members and is likely to reach 200,000 members by Christmas.
As well as working in the public health system, a “significant” number of new members are employed within the private sector aged care industry.
“We believe the unprecedented growth in the private aged sector reflects the fact that the aged care industry is crying out for urgent reform.”
“Nurses and assistants in nursing are also demanding urgent changes in the aged care sector where frail residents are receiving less and less care,” she said.
“That’s why there must be a minimum of nursing hours to ensure residents get the quality care they need.
The ANF is also calling on the new Gillard Government to:
- Ensure that nurses and midwives are represented on each and every local hospital board under Labor’s health restructure;
- Allow modern awards to be reviewed on application, and,
- Review funding of government run industries such as aged care, to ensure funding matches bargaining outcomes.
ANF continues to be concerned about the health gap between rural and metropolitan health systems, gender-based wage inequality and protection of workers’ rights as the current Australian health system undergoes reform.
She said that as the Australian health care system continues to be reformed under the Federal Government, it is vital that our front-line nurses and midwives play a key role in the changes.
Is the aged care industry crying out for reform? What do you want to change?
Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments below!
Image credit: ANF
Join our latest contest: Are you our chattiest nurse? Get the chance to win a relaxing weekend at Port Stephens!