Aged care workers say they’d earn more at BUNNINGS as they slam conditions amid fight for 25% pay rise
Aged care workers lashed out at conditions in the sector, calling it a ‘factory’
Opposition aged care spokeswoman attacked the government’s response
Aged care workers are fighting for a 25 per cent pay rise amid Covid conditions
By Andrew Brown In Canberra For Australian Associated Press
Published: 02:32 GMT, 10 February 2022 | Updated: 02:34 GMT, 10 February 2022
Aged care workers have lashed out at conditions in the sector as it deals with a surge of COVID-19 conditions, labelling it as a ‘factory’, as Labor intensifies pressure on the minister to resign.
Opposition aged care spokeswoman Clare O’Neil attacked the government’s response in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis in the sector, with more than 500 deaths from the virus in residential facilities since the start of the year.
Ms O’Neil called for a pay rise for workers in the sector, saying large numbers of employees were leaving the industry.
Aged care workers have lashed out at conditions in the sector as it deals with a surge of COVID-19 conditions, labelling it as a ‘factory’ (pictured, staff at a nursing home in Melbourne)
‘Aged care workers are some of the most poorly paid people in our country,’ she told reporters in Canberra.
‘You will earn more at Bunnings, you will earn more on the checkout than you will doing some of the most complex and important work that is to be done in this country.’
Aged care workers advocating for a 25 per cent pay rise met with Ms O’Neil and Opposition Leader Anthony at Parliament House on Thursday.
It comes following further calls for Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck to resign over his handling of the crisis.
The federal government this week announced it would send in 1700 Australian Defence Force personnel to assist the aged care sector, as it deals with staff shortages and a lack of equipment.
Ms O’Neil said while more assistance in the sector was needed, long-term solutions were required.
‘We do not have enough staff, the staff who are working are leaving the sector in droves because they can’t do it any more,’ she said.
‘The fix for that is to take proper respect and care for these workers so they can properly support their residents.’
Meanwhile, more booster shots have been approved for use, with the Therapeutic Goods Administration giving the provisional green light for AstraZeneca.
However, the federal health department has indicated Pfizer and Moderna boosters were still the preferred options for Australians to receive their third dose.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will also meet state and territory leaders on Thursday afternoon for national cabinet discussions on the virus.
Aged care will be on the agenda at the meeting, focusing on a nationally consistent guideline to ensure access to visitation rights.
The vaccine rollout will also be discussed, along with the capacity of the health system as the number of Omicron cases ease.
There were a further 56 deaths from COVID-19 across the country, with 24 coming from NSW, 16 from Victoria, 15 in Queensland and one in Tasmania.
Case numbers remained stable, with more than 26,000 registered on Thursday nationwide.
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