CTU MEDIA RELEASE
21 October 2008
Aged care employers given the chance to step up
“The Government’s announcement of additional money for improving wages in the aged care sector will test the rhetoric of employers who claim wages need to rise, but who ran a legal challenge against the Government last time they made efforts to allow that to happen,” Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said today.
The Government yesterday announced an extra $5 million,in addition to new money already provided this year, with a request to employers that this be passed on directly to the workforce.
“We would expect employers in the sector to welcome the extra money and immediately agree to the pass on,” Helen Kelly said.
“The Government’s announcement of both new money for staff training and the implementation of minimum staffing levels is also very welcome. This is the longer term solution for improving quality in the sector, by securing a stable and appropriately trained workforce.”
“The immediate possibility to increase wages as a result of the new funding is essential, but the longer term vision of a trained workforce with requirements for minimum staffing levels will mean aged care provision in this country has a real chance of becoming the quality service people want to work in, and older people want to live in.”
Helen Kelly called on employers to act responsibly to this new opportunity, and said families and workers would be closely scrutinising their response given how poorly they behaved last time.