United Voice aged care workers have had their plea to stop cuts in aged care funding heard by the Labor Party after they met with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in Canberra last week.
West Australian aged care delegates Sheridan, Brenda, Jude and Andrea flew the nation's capital to discuss the Turnbull Government's funding attack on the high demand industry with key politcians.
They joined colleagues from around the country to share their personal tales of how funding cuts impact their lives and the lives of their clients they are employed to care for.
Just one week after their talks with Mr Shorten, Labor gave notice to the parliament they will move a private member's bill to submit the Turnbull Liberal Government’s more than $2 billion aged care funding cuts to an independent legislative review.
The Bill will amend the review arrangements in the Aged Care (Living Longer Living Better) Act 2013 to include a full review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) and care needs of older Australians.
Sheridan said the meeting with Mr Shorten was an amazing opportunity.
"He actually listened," she said.
"He would ask us questions and he seemed genuinely interested."
The cohort of workers shared stories of increasing client to carer ratios, the rise of dementia in society and lack of staffing throughout the industry.
Sheridan said the lack of staff is becoming a real issue and affecting the level of care that is provided to clients.
"If the Liberal Government do implement these cuts, the industry is going to crumble," she said.
"It will be in complete shambles, more so than it is now.
"There will be more patients to staff which means heavier workloads and potentially more cases of abuse."
The review, if supported, must be undertaken and provided to the Minister by 31 July 2017.
"I think that this is just the early days of big changes that need to happen in order to accommodate the aging population," she said.
"I think it is fantastic that Labor has responded so quickly, it shows they are listening to what the ordinary people have to say."
You can download the Labor Party's media release about their move to legislate a review, here.
Sheridan and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten