It’s time to care about aged care workers: UnitingCare Australia welcomes pay rise at last
Australia’s largest provider network welcomes the Albanese Government’s announcement today to give more than 250,000 aged care workers a pay rise.
“Today’s significant announcement is all about the people – older people and their families, workers providing care, and the families who rely on those workers. This overdue pay rise will go a long way toward dealing with the cost-of-living crisis the lowest paid workers are currently facing,” said UnitingCare Australia National Director, Claerwen Little.
“We know that investing in our aged care workforce is essential for the well-being of older Australians. This increase will help attract and retain skilled workers and we reaffirm our pledge to pass on this additional funding to staff.
“UnitingCare Australia was the first national aged care body to publicly support a 25% pay rise for workers in March 2022. We boldly costed the ask and put our support behind our workforce. We firmly believe that all Australians should be afforded the opportunity to age to their full potential.
“Millions of Australians depend on the care sector every day to provide vital services that support individuals and communities to thrive. As the largest and fastest growing employer in the country, the opportunity for the care sector to be transformational for Australia’s future is boldly evident. We have an historic opportunity to advance gender equality through a strengthened care workforce,” said Ms Little.
UnitingCare Australia made an individual submission to the Fair Work Commission wage case in February 2022 and has called for the wage increase to be fully funded by Government in the three Pre-Budget Submissions since then.
“We commend the Government for their commitment to older Australians, aged care workers, and the dedicated providers who work tirelessly to deliver services. But we remain deeply concerned about the sustainability of the sector because this funding will not address the other financial challenges which we hope to be addressed in next week’s budget. We look forward to seeing the full detail, including fully funded oncosts, as soon as possible”.
About UnitingCare Australia
UnitingCare Australia is the national body for the Uniting Church’s community services, the largest social services network in Australia. The UnitingCare network supports 1.4 million people every year across 1,600 sites in urban, rural, and remote communities, with over 50,000 staff and 30,000 volunteers. It is the largest network of not-for-profit aged care providers nationally, supporting 97,000 older people, comprising 8.5% of total residential beds and 10% of Home Care Packages nationally. Over 80% of our workforce and 60% of our services recipients are women.