The Commonwealth Department of Health has provided rapid antigen testing (RAT) to Victorian aged care facilities in high-risk zones.
RAT is proving highly successful in testing staff and visitors, with results in 15 minutes. This provides an additional tool to ensure Covid-19 does not enter your aged care facility.
The use of RAT will be used in addition to PCR testing. Any positive RAT test will require staff to isolate and obtain at PCR test to confirm such result.
As of 13 October, identified high-risk LGAs in Victoria include:
Greater Melbourne: Brimbank, Casey, and Cardinia, Darebin, Greater Dandenong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Port Phillip, Whittlesea, and Wyndham.
Greater Victoria: Mitchell Shire, Mildura.
ANMF is aware some aged care employers are requesting staff to arrive at work early for their RAT. ANMF advises members that the RAT should be undertaken during paid work time prior to you entering the premises. If you are experiencing issues please contact your Organiser via firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, member number, workplace and specific details. (edited: this paragraph was added after the original 15 October 2021 newsflash was sent to members)
Aged Care Registered Nurses’ Payment
The Australian Government as part of its response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety final report has introduced the Aged Care Registered Nurses’ Payment.
The payment, to reward clinical skills and leadership, will be available from 2022 to registered nurses who have worked from the same employer for the following periods:
- 1 November 2021 – 31 October 2022
- 1 November 2022 – 31 October 2023
Full time registered nurses will be eligible to received $3,700 and pro-rata for part-time/casual registered nurse.
While ANMF is supportive of measures to increase renumeration for aged care employees, the ANMF did not support this budget measure as an attempt to attract and retain registered nurses in the sector at the expense of the Commonwealth Government commitment to improve wages and conditions for aged care workers across the sector. This measure does not provide a long-term, structural solution to the much greater problem of undervaluing of the aged care workforce and therefore the capacity of the sector to build and sustain a high-quality workforce.
The view of ANMF nationally is that we request that the Commonwealth Government funds long-term strategies that will address the structural workforce problems. This includes a commitment to fund improved pay and conditions for all aged care nurses and carers and to improve staffing and skills mix in nursing homes and in-home care.
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Please invite your aged care nursing and personal care worker colleagues to join their union so they have access to support, advice and information about their employment. Let them know they can join.