The Greens are calling on the Federal Government to commit to funding a pay increase for aged care workers saying the Government should have done this in the recent budget.
The Greens support the Nursing and Midwifery Federation and the Health Services Union push for a 25% increase to aged care workers pay saying current wages are insulting.
“Aged care workers and nurses are doing critical work and paid at frankly insulting rates”, Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“This is a skilled but feminised workforce and you don’t need to take many guesses why this work is so undervalued and underpaid.
“The Royal Commission recommended that the Government and the sector put in applications to the Fair Work Commission to improve wages, the Government need to come to the table and support the application.
“The Government can keep telling us they have ‘put money into aged care’ but $17 billion over 4 years is not enough to fix our broken aged care system.
“The sector needs $10 billion per year.
“The Grattan Institute has estimated we need another 70,000 workers to fix aged care and Deloitte estimated we need another 130,000 direct care workers by 2050 to maintain current staffing levels and we are not going to attract new workers or keep existing workers if they are not paid properly.
“If the Government is serious about fixing aged care, the workforce is at the heart of it and it starts with a desperately needed pay increase.
“Aged Care workers can no longer be seen as collateral damage in this failed system.”