The Health Services Union has commended the Commonwealth Government for formally supporting its application to lift wages in the sector by today making a submission to the case.
The Union’s work value case before the Fair Work Commission seeks a 25 per cent pay rise for personal care workers, recreational activities officers, catering, cleaning, administration, and other support staff. The starting rate of pay for a personal care worker is $23.55/hr, while a qualified personal care worker earns $24.76/hr.
The HSU argues the work of aged care has changed over time, becoming more complex as the needs of an ageing population and community expectations of care have evolved.
HSU National President, Gerard Hayes, said the Commonwealth’s support was a step change.
“After a decade of neglect the new Government’s recognition of the aged care workforce is a shot in the arm.
“For too long Australia has allowed a mostly female, insecurely employed workforce to be exploited and overworked. We strongly commend Anika Wells and the Labor government for recognising this historic injustice.
“Older Australians will not get the care they deserve until we can attract and retain a workforce to look after them. The Government has understood this and taken action.
“We are hopeful the Fair Work Commission will make a decision that recognises the work value of aged care. A decent pay rise is beyond overdue.”
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The HSU is calling for a major focus of the Jobs and Skills Summit to be on modernising the bargaining system to keep up with the changing landscape of care work.