Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot with ANF federal secretary, Ged Kearney at the ‘pressure table’.

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) has put government politicians under the pump today as it stepped up its campaign to increase aged care funding in next year’s budget.

Delegates at the ALP’s national conference in Sydney were asked to take blood pressure tests to help raise awareness about the wage disparity for nurses working in aged care.

The stunt was part of the ANF’s ‘Because we Care’ campaign which is seeking mandatory staffing levels and targeted funding for wages in aged care.

“Aged care desperately needs nursing staff with the right mix of skills and increased funding from the federal government, with greater accountability for that funding,” said federal secretary, Ged Kearney.

The ANF has said it wants to make 2010 the year of the ‘aged care’ budget and today it launched a national postcard campaign targeting federal MPs and Senators.

The postcards say: ‘Time to deliver for aged care in Budget 2010”.

They will be distributed to aged care facilities and people in marginal seats throughout Australia.

The ANF hopes that up to 100,000 Australians will send the postcards to politicians before next year’s budget.

“One of the fundamental issues in our aged care workforce is the wage disparity, with nurses on average getting paid $300 a week less than their colleagues in other sectors,” Ms Kearney said.

“That’s why we are putting the pressure on politicians today to deliver with greater funding in the 2010 federal budget.

“With aged care and the funding of the sector becoming a very important topic for many older Australians, it will no doubt be raised as a real issue at the next federal election.”

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