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Dear Member of Parliament(Name), I live in your local electorate and I am very concerned about the way the NSW Government is treating people with disability and the nurses that care for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community. Disability nurses provide quality, compassionate and professional nursing care to people with disabilities and complex health care needs. The clients who live in accommodation provided by the Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) arm of Family and Community Services have special needs and often require around the clock nursing care. This is hard but necessary work and the nurses providing this service deserve better. ADHC talks a lot about their values and what a career in nursing would mean - the ADHC web-site states that "few jobs are as personally rewarding as those that make a difference in the quality of life experienced by other people. The work is not always easy, but the rewards are attractive and it can bring out the best in you." However, it has come to my attention that the wages of ADHC nurses are around 6% less than a nurse in a public hospital would earn. On top of that, the O'Farrell government is further attacking the rights of all public sector workers including ADHC nurses by proposing to take away annual leave loading, some penalty rates and FACS leave. Nurses who care for people with disabilities can't afford to stay in this sector unless they are paid better. Nurses suffer and client care is ultimately affected. People with disability are already disadvantaged in life - don't make this worse by ignoring their health care needs and the needs of those who care for them day in and day out - their nurses. People with disability deserve better. Their nurses deserve better pay. I ask you to raise this important issue directly with Premier O'Farrell.
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