It’s hard to believe that it was 12 months today that the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety handed down its final report.
The Royal Commission found that aged care workers are undervalued, under resourced and understaffed. The Royal Commission found that the pandemic has you and your colleagues are essential workers providing care to the most vulnerable and yet the system has failed you.
Since that final report the aged care workforce has been faced with the failed COVID vaccination rollout, PPE shortages, rolling lockdowns, COVID outbreaks, dangerous staffing shortages, pitiful wage increases. All the problems highlighted by the Royal Commission have not been addressed, but instead have become worse.
And yet, despite all of these challenges you are still here.
Over my years working for the Health Services Union I have come to know the aged care workforce as driven by its deeply felt compassion for older Australians. Your determination to provide dignity and respect in care also means you aren’t willing to give up for the sake of residents. For this you should be thanked.
But thank you really isn’t good enough. We need action. That’s why the HSU launched our Work Value Case to lift aged care award wages by 25 percent. After a long wait our Case will be heard at the Fair Work Commission on 26 April.
The community have voiced their support, employers have voiced their support. The only silence has come from the Federal Government. It isn’t good enough. We demand action.
So today, on the one year anniversary of the Royal Commission’s final report, I am calling on all aged care workers to join me: