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Some good news at last for aged care workers

Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota Media Release

8 May 2014

Some good news at last for aged care workers

“Labour’s aged care policy contains good news at last for the undervalued aged care workforce,” said Alastair Duncan, Aged Care Sector Leader for the Service and Food Workers Union today.

“We strongly support the establishment of an aged care commissioner and it is an important step towards creating a society that truly values older citizens,” he said.

Alastair Duncan said the union also strongly welcomed Labour’s commitment to ensuring parity for aged care caregivers, but said this must be a matter of urgency.

“Labour commitment to pay parity is important and comes at a time when under funding in residential aged care has perpetuated a culture of low wages and long hours borne by some of the hardest working women in this country,” he said.

"This announcement will give heart to tens of thousands of aged care workers that their very low pay rates will finally be addressed."

Alastair Duncan said the current National government had failed to act on the straightforward recommendation of the Human Rights Commission Report Caring Counts to sort out pay parity for caregivers.

“On top of that the Employment Court has already ruled that aged care employers are currently in breach of the Equal Pay Act for the rates paid to caregivers,” he said.

“Acting on fair pay for caregivers is long overdue and we welcome Labour’s policy commitment.”

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