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Thursday, June 30, 2022

HSU welcomes opposition leader’s aged care declaration

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Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese said on Sunday that he supports the Health Services Union (HSU) Fair Work Commission case for a 25 per cent wage increase for aged care, providing what HSU national president, Gerard Hayes said is ‘a massive boost to the workforce, support attraction and retention of staff and improve quality of care’.

“The great unresolved crisis in aged care is wages,” Hayes said in a statement.

“Until the Commonwealth Government commits to pay aged care workers a decent wage this crisis will only get worse.

“Today we see a clear difference emerge between the major parties.

“Mr Albanese’s declaration of support for the HSU case to lift aged care wages is hugely significant.”

Interviewed by David Speers on the ABC’s Insider TV program, Albanese said that the Federal Government should be making a submission to the commission supporting an increase in wages.

“But the big missing piece in this workforce [is], we still don’t have a commitment to have a nurse in a nursing home,” he said.

“We still don’t have a commitment to increase in terms of other care workers in aged care, and we still don’t have a commitment to increases in wages and conditions so that aged care facilities are able to attract the staff.”

In the short term, Hayes said Albanese’s comments will lift the spirits of aged care workers.

“But in the longer term we need to lift wages to allow more workers to stay in the industry and stem the short staffing crisis,” he said.

“We’re into our third year of this pandemic and an exhausted aged care workforce who can earn more stacking shelves in a supermarket are barely holding on.

“Scott Morrison and Richard Colbeck have been warned that staff shortages are at catastrophic levels but it seems the cricket takes precedence.”

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