Firstly, I want to acknowledge the work that aged care workers are doing right now across the country. Reports this morning have over 11 million Australians in lockdown. Every time there’s a lockdown, that places incredible pressure on aged care workers to provide every aspect of care – social, emotional and physical care – to residents who are shut off from their families and friends.
And while dealing with this added stress at work, members are dealing with new testing requirements, mandatory vaccinations, and the single site program, as well as managing their own personal circumstances.
In some more positive news, after a united union effort, the Federal Government has now confirmed that every aged care worker will be given a choice of vaccine. This means that every aged care worker can access Pfizer, irrespective of their age.
Members should have priority access through their GPs, local hubs, public hospital rollouts and through ‘in reach’ programs.
In further news, overnight it was also confirmed that the Single Site Program has been extended to 14 August for Metropolitan Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour. The key principle of the program is that workers are not worse off, and employers are funded by the government to participate. More information can be found here: https://supporthub.agedservicesworkforce.com.au/
If you are having difficulties with the Single Site Employment Program, contact your local HSU Organiser, the HSU Member Services Division on 1300 478 649, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, thank you for the work you are doing to keep the most vulnerable safe. You are on the frontline and deserve a pay rise!