After hundreds of witnesses, thousands of pages of evidence and weeks of hearings, the submissions in our Aged Care Work Value Case are now closed.
This marks the end of an incredible process – nearly three-years in the making – that saw union members from across the aged care sector fight for what we deserve – that is, proper, professional pay for the incredible work that we do, day in and day out.
HSU members have led this historic case every step of the way.
We have campaigned in our workplaces, we have rallied in our communities, we have lobbied politicians, and we have presented the strongest case possible to the Fair Work Commission.
Every step of the way, we made the case that aged care work is important work and that every aged care worker deserves a 25% pay increase in our Awards.
We’ve had to defend our claim from employers, business lobby groups and politicians who don’t believe that the incredible job aged care workers do is worth more.
We’ve had to justify why aged care workers are truly care professionals, and that the difficult job of caring for the most frail and vulnerable members of our community deserves professional pay and proper recognition.
We’ve had to show that aged care work is skilled, complex work – which is both physically and mentally demanding – not some archaic stereotype of ‘women’s work’ that never truly existed and certainly has no place in modern society.
Together we keep fighting, because this is the change we need in our industry.
And we’ve had to do all of this in the face of incredible adversity. From the physical threats of fires and floods across the country, to some of the most gruelling, physically demanding and emotionally challenging years of our lives as the world was gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But HSU members have done it, and we’ve done it well. Together we keep fighting, because this is the change we need in our industry.
And while the outcome of this case is vital, the impact on our union and our industry is even greater. This case has awoken something that cannot undone. It has given a voice to workers who have been voiceless for far too long – and boy have we got a lot to say!
We will achieve professional pay in our industry, but that’s just the first step. This is the rise of aged care workers as a political, industrial, and campaigning force to be reckoned with.
Whatever the outcome, we will continue to grow, and we will continue to organise.
Together, we will reshape the aged care industry to deliver the pay and conditions that aged care workers deserve, and we will take our rightful place as care professionals leading our industry as advocates for our residents and our clients.