Sep 18, 2023

Aged care support worker pay rise plea submitted

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United Workers Union Aged Care Director Carolyn Smith and support workers handing in their submission. [Source: Supplied]

United Workers Union (UWU) have now lodged a submission with the Fair Work Commission (FWC) pushing for aged care support workers to receive the same 15% pay correction awarded to other aged care workers nationally earlier this year.

“Support workers are often the first worker on the scene when aged care residents are in distress or have had a fall,” Carolyn Smith, UWU Aged Care Director said at a press conference on Friday in Perth, Western Australia.

“They are also called in when aged care residents are agitated or need a friendly face, because they sometimes have the most interaction with the resident […] A cleaner in a room for 30 minutes is sometimes the most substantial contact residents have over a whole day.

Support workers are vital to the aged care team can give quality care to residents but consideration of a wage rise for these employees in the wage case was delayed by the FWC to “stage 3” hearings, with submissions now closed ahead of hearings in December.

Support workers supplied personal stories to their submission.

“One particular resident loves to share and shows me her colouring pictures that she has started or completed. Now that is maybe nothing to some but means so much to her. I love seeing the end result; so amazing.” said Natalie* who works in aged care food services in Queensland.

“I have comforted and supported a resident who had a nasty fall in our outdoor courtyard prior to getting clinical attention and kept her mind off the injury she had by general conversation and making her feel comfortable,” said WA-based maintenance worker, Darren*. 

* Names changed to preserve anonymity.

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