ACTU President Ged Kearney said plans by the new Coalition Government to abandon wage increases for up to 350,000 workers in aged care and childcare was in direct conflict with Tony Abbottâ€™s commitment that no worker would be worse off.
â€śIt is a betrayal by the Coalition of some of Australiaâ€™s lowest paid workers, in industries that are largely staffed by women,â€ť she said.
â€śAged and childcare workers do a very tough job and are paid very little and any move to deny their pay increases demonstrates a worrying lack of understanding.â€ť
â€śAged care is one of the most important and difficult jobs there is, yet aged care workers are amongst the lowest paid.â€ť
Ms Kearney said in order to be an effective government the Coalition and Tony Abbott would need to get a firm grasp of the challenge of an ageing population and staff shortages.
â€śIt is absolutely critical we build our aged care workforce to manage the needs of our growing population,â€ť said Ms Kearney. â€śLifting pay is central to attracting and retaining skilled workers in this field.
â€śEnterprise bargaining agreements that cover the entire workforce of an aged care facility are the best way to make sure that money allocated is guaranteed to deliver a pay rise, thatâ€™s why the Workforce Compact is so important.
â€śPreviously, money allocated to the aged care sector hasnâ€™t flowed through to workers.
â€śTony Abbott has made the claim that no worker would be worse off if he wins government, but that claim is now farcical.
â€śSaying no worker will be worse off and then telling 350,000 workers they will not get much needed pay rises is a worrying way for the Coalition to launch their term in Government.
â€śMr Abbott didnâ€™t want to talk about workplace policy before the election and now we see he wants to tear up an agreement that will deliver a pay rise to some of our most important and lowest-paid workers.
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