Apr 16, 2024

Albanese Government Under Fire for Delaying Aged Care Workers’ Wage Rises

Albanese Government Under Fire for Delaying Aged Care Workers' Wage Rises
Courtesy of [Shutterstock Images]

The promises made by the Albanese government regarding wage increases for aged care workers have once again fallen short, sparking outrage and disappointment across the sector.

In a move that has been heavily criticised, the government is seeking to postpone wage rises of up to 13.5 per cent for almost two years, citing concerns about potential labour shortages in other industries.

Despite assurances to fund these pay increases, the government now wishes to implement them in two phases, with the first instalment scheduled for January 1, 2025, and the second a year later.

This delay has drawn sharp criticism from health unions, who argue that such actions only exacerbate the existing pressures faced by the aged care sector in retaining its workforce.

The government’s justification for this delay revolves around concerns that substantial wage increases could lure workers away from other sectors grappling with their own labour shortages.

However, for the thousands of dedicated aged care workers awaiting fair compensation for their invaluable contributions, such reasoning offers little solace.

The timing of this decision raises questions about the government’s commitment to addressing the pressing issues within the aged care sector, with critics highlighting the Labor government’s failure to meet multiple aged care-related promises that were primary themes of Mr Albanese’s 2022 election campaign. 

Despite acknowledging historic underpayments and gendered roles, the delay in implementing these wage rises sends a disheartening message to those who have long-awaited recognition and fair compensation for their essential work.

Gerard Hayes, the national president of the Health Services Union, minced no words in expressing his disappointment, highlighting the detrimental impact of such delays on aged care workers.

He emphasised that the delay effectively prolongs the wait for fair pay, pushing workers to the brink and further straining an already burdened sector.

“We’re not talking about getting a few more people into the sector – we’re talking about stopping the hemorrhaging of people leaving,” Mr Hayes told the Australian Financial Review.

“A phasing program will maintain more pressure on the sector as opposed to what’s really needed – to attract and retain.”

As job vacancies in the health care and social assistance industry soar to unprecedented levels, aged care workers must receive the recognition and compensation they deserve, without further delay.

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  1. This is totally unfair and the government should be changed for delaying the payment increases to a much deserved work force.

  2. It is so unfair of the government to encourage good care workers and nurses to remain away from the aged care industry. We lost so many to NDIS when it commenced, and they have never been replaced. They stay away from aged care because they cannot afford to work with us, even if it is their preference.
    It is a continual slap in the face to those of us who have remained in the industry. It is so disappointing that those of us who have fought to provide good care, often unpaid, continue to be disrespected in this manner. There is a team that provide the service of care, from management to nurses and carers to admin to cleaners and maintenance to food services and laundry. We are not here for the power, glory, and money. It simply is not part of our industry. We are here because we want to give. It would be nice to have recognition of this.

  3. Get with it Prime Minister. Aged Care is not something too many People can cope with. I have been punched, kicked and spat on. Could You do it P.M?

  4. Another tricky move and broken promise by the Labor government. All talk and no action! Roll on the coming election – let the aged care workers express their disappointment in Labor!

  5. The comment by Mr Hayes regarding trying to prevent people leaving the aged care sector is very valid.

  6. Albo come do a shift in the Dementia wing, then see how much you think we’re worth…
    Your reasons are pathetic excuses 🤬

  7. Any delay in implementation of pay rises in the Aged care sector is insulting to the majority once again of women who struggle to live on the wage but find it essential to turn up shift after shift to support the Aged. These are part of the low paid so to use an excuse that other sector workers would rush to join Aged care workforce because of the pay increase is more than insulting. If you seriously believe in no one left behind then do the fair thing and increase the wages TODAY.


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