The federal Liberals are squarely within the campaign sights of aged care workers, who will rally outside federal parliament tomorrow at 11am after being dudded in tonight’s Budget.

Personal care workers, home care workers, recreational activities officers, catering, cleaning, administration, and other aged care staff are seeking a 25 per cent pay increase through a Fair Work Commission case. This would equate to an increase of between $5.40 and $7.20 per hour to increase the average wage to $29 per hour. Some aged care workers are currently paid less than $22 per hour.

Federal Labor has committed to support the case, with shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers committing at the weekend to fund an increase.

The Liberals have declined to support the case and in the Budget failed to fund an increase.

“Aged care workers are living in poverty, skimping on food and risking homelessness,” said Gerard Hayes, HSU National President. “This is a hell of a way to repay people who risked their lives by working through the pandemic.

“The needs of aged care residents have massively expanded. People are living longer and entering residential aged care with increasingly complex physical, social and emotional needs, in part driven by the increasing rates of dementia.

“Yet somehow Scott Morrison and the Liberals think it’s acceptable to pay these workers as little as $22 an hour. And then they wonder why there’s a staffing crisis.

“It’s not just us saying this, the Australian people know this situation is completely crook. The Liberals can expect retribution at the ballot box. We will make sure of it.”


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