The aged care sector will meet with ministers next week to discuss chronic workforce shortages as providers wait for details on how an anticipated multibillion-dollar package to fund wage rises will work. Source: The Age.
The Fair Work Commission is considering a case brought by unions for a 25 per cent pay increase for aged care workers and nurses, with a decision expected in the summer.
Employer groups have agreed staff need a sizeable increase but oppose making it as high as the union bid, while the Albanese Government has backed a “significantly higher” pay rate and committed to fully funding any increase.
Aged Care Minister Anika Wells said yesterday the cost of not acting was too high.
Tim Hicks, general manager of policy for the Aged and Community Care Providers Association, a peak body for the sector, said the Government’s submission was welcome but further work was needed on “how the funding is going to be made available”.
The Government has said it wants everyone in the sector to receive a pay rise.
Research in April by the University of Notre Dame for Catholic Health Australia found there were more than 45,500 vacancies for qualified aged care workers across the sector. It was also short 1760 registered nurses, a situation that will only be exacerbated by the Government’s plans to mandate that every residential facility have at least one registered nurse on-site at all times from mid-2023.
CHA’s aged care director, Jason Kara, said the fully funded wage increase was “probably the most important piece of the workforce shortage puzzle” but not the only one.
Aged care providers, ministers to examine chronic workforce shortages (By Katina Curtis, The Age)