Landmark Pay Equity Report Highlights Double Jeopardy Of Caring For The Elderly

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24th November 2009, 04:39pm - Views: 432





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The industrial and professional organisation for nurses and midwives in Australia


Canberra Office (Professional Services)


Unit 3, 28 Eyre Street  Kingston  ACT  2604 

Australia 

PO Box 4239  Kingston  ACT  2604  Australia

+ 61 2 6232 6533 (T)   + 61 2 6232 6610 (F) 

anfcanberra@anf.org.au

Melbourne Office (Industrial Services)


Level 1, 365 Queen Street  Melbourne  VIC  3000 

Australia

+ 61 3 9602 8500 (T)   + 61 3 9602 8567 (F)

industrial@anf.org.au

anfmelbourne@anf.org.au 

ANF Journals


Australian Nursing Journal 

Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing

anj@anf.org.au   ajan@anf.org.au

ABN 41 816 898 298







media release


Landmark pay equity report highlights double jeopardy of

caring for the elderly.


Nurses are experiencing a double-barrel of discrimination through both the gender

wage gap and their employment in the Government-funded aged care sector, a new

Federal Government report has found.

Australian Nursing Federation Federal Secretary Ged Kearney has applauded the

pay equity report Making it Fair, released yesterday, which acknowledges the

inequality experienced by nurses, especially those in the aged care sector.

The report highlights the continuing gap in wages between women and men and

repeatedly points to the aged care sector as an example of ingrained and sustained

discrimination.

“Despite the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in 1972 granting

men and women the same minimum wage, for many women equal pay is not a

reality,” she said.

“I applaud the report’s findings that action needs to be taken to improve wages and

conditions for aged care nurses whose work is largely undervalued despite their

expertise.”

The report urges relevant ministers including Minister for Finance, Lindsay Tanner, to

act on the dire situation in aged care:

There was a great deal of evidence presented that went to the situation of women

employed in the aged care sector…. it is clear that action needs to be taken to

improve wages and conditions…I am aware of the dependence on the Australian

government for the funding of this sector. I urge the responsible Ministers… to look at

how we can responsibly increase the funding for wages in this sector.” Writes

Sharryn Jackson MP and Chair in the foreword.






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The industrial and professional organisation for nurses and midwives in Australia


Canberra Office (Professional Services)


Unit 3, 28 Eyre Street  Kingston  ACT  2604 

Australia 

PO Box 4239  Kingston  ACT  2604  Australia

+ 61 2 6232 6533 (T)   + 61 2 6232 6610 (F) 

anfcanberra@anf.org.au

Melbourne Office (Industrial Services)


Level 1, 365 Queen Street  Melbourne  VIC  3000 

Australia

+ 61 3 9602 8500 (T)   + 61 3 9602 8567 (F)

industrial@anf.org.au

anfmelbourne@anf.org.au 

ANF Journals


Australian Nursing Journal 

Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing

anj@anf.org.au   ajan@anf.org.au

ABN 41 816 898 298







“Aged care is staffed predominantly by women who are paid less than their

counterparts with comparable skills and qualifications,” Ms Kearney from the ANF

said.

“The ANF - through the Because We Care campaign – has been calling for aged

care nurses to receive wages and career opportunities that reflect their education,

value to the community and hard work.”

“This is vital when pegged beside our rising aging population who are relying on

nurses to care for them in their final years.”

“Caring for the elderly should not translate into less pay and more work as is the

current reality.”

“Nurses in the aged care sector are paid up to $300 less than other nurses. This

coupled with an unreasonable workload has seen a 23 per cent decrease in the

number of registered nurses and 11 per cent in enrolled nurses in aged care since

2003.”

“We urge the Federal Government to consider the findings in the report and increase

funding to the sector in the 2010 Federal budget. This funding must also be

transparent to ensure it reaches nurse pay packets and is adequate to ensure fair

and reasonable pay,” Ms Kearney said.


Background


Australia today has some 2,800 residential aged care facilities providing care to more than

160,000 elderly people, 70 per cent of whom receive high-level care and 55 percent of whom

are 85 years of age or older.

By 2020 the number of residents is projected to reach more than 250,000 - a 56 percent

increase.

And the highest area of growth will be among residents aged 95 or over who will need the

highest level of care we can give them.

The high-care proportion of residential aged care is going to need to almost triple in the next

25 years to keep up with demand.






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The industrial and professional organisation for nurses and midwives in Australia


Canberra Office (Professional Services)


Unit 3, 28 Eyre Street  Kingston  ACT  2604 

Australia 

PO Box 4239  Kingston  ACT  2604  Australia

+ 61 2 6232 6533 (T)   + 61 2 6232 6610 (F) 

anfcanberra@anf.org.au

Melbourne Office (Industrial Services)


Level 1, 365 Queen Street  Melbourne  VIC  3000 

Australia

+ 61 3 9602 8500 (T)   + 61 3 9602 8567 (F)

industrial@anf.org.au

anfmelbourne@anf.org.au 

ANF Journals


Australian Nursing Journal 

Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing

anj@anf.org.au   ajan@anf.org.au

ABN 41 816 898 298






The Because We Care campaign is aimed at raising awareness and recognition of Australia's

highly skilled and dedicated aged care nursing and care workforce.

Throughout 2009 the ANF has been asking community members, nursing home staff, friends

and relatives of residents to sign the "Charter for Quality Aged Care".

The Charter calls on the Federal Government to properly fund aged care and support the

campaign's four key objectives;

1) The right balance of skills and nursing hours so that nursing and care staff can provide

quality care for every resident.

2) Fair pay for aged care nurses and care staff who are paid up to $300 per week less than

nurses in other sectors.

3) Recognition of the professional skills of Assistants in Nursing and care staff through a

national licensing system.

4) A guarantee that taxpayer funding is used for nursing and care staff for each resident.

Media inquiries:











Media inquiries


Eleni Hale, Media and Communications 


(03) 9602 8522 / 0402337388

Ged Kearney, Federal Secretary



0417 053 322

Lee Thomas, Assistant Federal Secretary 

0419 576 590

Nick Blake, Senior Industrial Officer


0419 523 740









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