International Women’s Day: Aged Care Workers’ Entitlements at Risk08 March 2023
On this International Women’s Day (IWD) the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), has revealed that some aged care providers are not only refusing to pass-on Government funding for long-overdue wage increases for their overwhelmingly female workforce, but are now threatening to cancel their Enterprise Agreements (EA). This would mean nurses and care workers would lose essential allowances and penalty rates.
After the ANMF (Victorian Branch) filed bargaining dispute Applications in the Fair Work Commission against two aged care providers, they responded by stating they are ‘prepared to consider cancelling the agreements and moving to modern awards. This would overcome the issues regarding allowances and penalties …’
“Over 93 per cent of aged care workers are women and on IWD, they should be recognised and commended for the outstanding care they give to our elderly, but instead, they are being treated with contempt,” ANMF Federal Secretary, Annie Butler said.
“It just shows the lengths that some aged care operators will take to avoid paying their workers what they are rightfully entitled to and, frankly, deserve.
“If these providers proceed to cancel agreements, it means nurses and care workers could potentially lose a whole range of allowances and entitlements, such as penalty rates; paid parental leave (PPL); personal leave, professional development leave and qualification allowances. It’s a disgrace that yet again some providers fail to recognise the true value of their workforce. This attitude will do little to grow the workforce so desperately needed to address the aged care crisis.
“The FWC’s decision to award workers a 15 per cent pay increase from 30 June 2023 has given us some real hope that after a decade of neglect the industry can finally start to retain and recruit nurses and carers. But this will only be achieved if the full wage increase, as determined by the FWC and supported by the Federal Government, is passed on in full to all aged care workers.
The ANMF is urging the Albanese Government to ensure that providers pass on taxpayer-funding in pay rises for aged care workers.
Editor’s Note: The ANMF (Victorian Branch) will hold a media conference outside the Fair Work Commission, 11 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, at 9.00am today, Wednesday 8 March.
The ANMF, with over 321,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and carers in Australia.
ANMF media release authorised by Annie Butler, ANMF Federal Secretary. 1/365 Queen St, Melbourne.
ANMF media inquiries: Richard Lenarduzzi 0411 254 390
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