The ANMF is a remarkably effective and efficient machine and its quasi Chief Operating Officer is Annie Butler.
And it is a machine. They have 275,000 members and growing. The low level annual membership fee is over $400 – so the ANMF annual income exceeds $100 million a year.
This needs to be distributed to the state branches who deal with state governments on health.
Ms Butler is federal; aged care is federally funded and administered.
What is Annie Butler’s mission? Her sole message in her re-election media release this week was:
“This year, we will be continuing our focus on fixing the crisis in aged care, and fighting to get our politicians to legislate minimum staffing levels and skills mix in order to address the chronic understaffing in Australia’s aged care homes and provide safe, best practice care for elderly residents”.
Ms Butler also believes there is no role for private operators in aged care. Their profits are mainly government money which should be used for more staff.
But both private and not-for-profit operators fight against legislated minimum staffing levels, claiming it’s inflexible and inefficient.
They also claim, especially in regional locations, it is impossible to get nursing staff to man care facilities 24/7.
We have asked Annie Butler what her solution to these challenges are without response. Over the next two weeks she is appearing at the Royal Commission where she may have some answers.