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National ignores the real issues in Aged Care

06 09 05

Same old story from National ignores the real issues in Aged Care sector

The Service & Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota (SFWU) says that National's Aged Care policy promises falls woefully short of what is needed to improve the core issues of staff training, retention and wage rates in the industry.

"Aged Care funding needs to focus on improving the care by respecting those who work as caregivers and service staff" says Darien Fenton, SFWU National Secretary.

Darien Fenton said that without significant funding that targeted low wages and lack of access to training any Aged Care funding would probably disappear into the coffers of the corporates who are increasingly expanding their financial interests in the industry.

"Wages and training in the Aged Care industry are key issues, while National's promises are all directed at sending more money to private providers. Any funding increases need to improve the quality and wages of the workforce rather than the returns of shareholders," she said.

Darien Fenton said there would be even more serious consequences for workers in the industry if National carried out their promise to re-introduce the "best parts' of the Employment Contracts Act.

"The reason the industry is in the situation it is today is because funding increases were not passed onto workers under National governments during the 1990's. Employers chose instead to cut workers' wages and National's approach will help them do it again."

ENDS

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