Aged care on brink of collapse: union

  • Published November 22, 2022

The Canberra Times, 22 November 2022

Three in four aged care workers plan to quit within the next six months if they don't receive a hefty pay rise, bringing the sector already in crisis on the verge of collapse, a survey has revealed.

The Health Services Union will on Tuesday release the shocking findings of its aged care snapshot at the Fair Work Commission in Sydney.

The commission awarded an interim 15 per cent pay rise to direct care employees two weeks ago, but the union says the increase isn't high enough and continues to call for a 25 per cent increase across the sector's workforce.
Aged care workers can be paid as little as $22 an hour.

More than 90 per cent of the almost 2000 workers surveyed said securing the full 25 per cent pay increase was "extremely important" for them.

A survey participant called Jade said she felt the residents deserved a higher standard of care.

"Almost every day I want to cry because I feel like we are understaffed and undervalued," she said.

Health Services Union national president Gerard Hayes said the aged care workforce was on the verge of a mass resignation which would cause the sector to collapse.

"This is not a problem that can be solved by bringing in the army or phasing in a pay rise," he said.
"We need an urgent injection of money into the bank accounts of workers."

Mr Hayes said aged care staff did some of society's most unpleasant work while being paid "bugger all" and described job security in the sector as pathetic.

"Enough is enough," he said.

"Unless we want our elderly cared for by robots and fed frankfurts and jelly, we need to commit to funding a full pay rise for all sections of the aged care workforce."