Aged care members ‘doing more with less’

May 1, 2021

Members working in aged care are under increasing pressure to do more with less, NZNO industrial adviser for aged care Lesley Harry says.

COVID-19 had highlighted the need for better staffing standards to support a skilled workforce and an increase in staffing levels, Harry said.

Work this year has included NZNO submitting to the Health and Disability Services Standards review in January 2021. That included real-life stories from members working in aged residential care (ARC) and a call for mandatory minimum staffing levels and skill mix, as well as the need for ARC managers to be experienced nurses, she said.

This year NZNO would be focusing its ARC campaigns on mandatory staffing levels and skill mix, the development of shared union resources and another round of joint union regional delegate leadership seminars and stopwork meetings, she said.

NZNO will also be canvassing members’ views on this year’s bargaining priorities.

National delegates hui

E Tu and NZNO delegates got together in Wellington in April to prepare for this year’s mahi. The day included affirming the joint union strategy and preparation for bargaining; a session on lobbying MPs and members telling their own stories to illustrate the benefits of improved staffing levels.