Members of the country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), will take to the streets in a show of support for ‘Australia Needs a Pay Rise’ starting across the country today (Tuesday 23 October).
The rallies are being held in capital cities and selected regional towns, as part of Australian Council of Trade Union’s Change the Rules campaign, aiming to provide decent, living wages for Australia’s underpaid workers.
ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler said wage disparity was particularly pertinent in the aged care sector, where qualified nurses are being paid up to $200 a week less than their colleagues working in public hospitals.
“The chronic understaffing in residential aged care facilities means that nurses are run off their feet, with ever-dwindling numbers of nurses caring for an increasing number of residents. Workloads have risen to dangerously high levels and nurses are being paid significantly less than they deserve,” Ms Butler said today.
“Some aged care providers are posting massive profits, with the top-six for profit providers reaping-in over $2Billion in taxpayer subsidies, but it’s not flowing through to underpaid nurses and carers working in aged care. Insufficient staffing levels are compromising the care provided to our vulnerable elderly living in nursing homes.
“We know that the cost of living is spiraling while wages are just not keeping up. ‘Trickle down’ economics has failed and inequality is at a 70 year high.
“The ANMF encourages all nurses, midwives and carers to come together in solidarity with other unions and march today to change the rules and achieve better pay and conditions for average working Australians”
Authorised by Annie Butler, ANMF Federal Secretary. 1/365 Queen St, Melbourne.
The ANMF, with over 275,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.
Media contact: Richard Lenarduzzi on 0411 254390