Unions fear low-paid workers in the aged care sector will miss out on pay rises secured by the Labor Government under Tony Abbott’s plans to give the money intended for workers direct to providers.
Enterprise agreements were the best way to ensure the money flowed direct to workers and was not simply pocketed by employers, said ACTU President Ged Kearney.
“It is absolutely critical we build our aged care workforce to manage the needs of our growing population,” said Ms Kearney. “Lifting pay is central to attracting and retaining skilled workers in this field.
“Aged care is one of the most important and difficult jobs there is, yet aged care workers are amongst the lowest-paid workers.
“Enterprise 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, that’s why the Workforce Compact is so important.
“Previously, money allocated to the aged care sector hasn’t flowed through to workers.
“Tony Abbott has made the claim that no worker would be worse off if he wins government, but that claim is looking more and more farcical by the day.
“Mr Abbott doesn’t want to talk about workplace policy but we know the Coalition wants to help business slash penalty rates, we know they want to police enterprise agreements so workers can’t get a pay rise unless they trade off conditions and now Mr Abbott wants to tear up an agreement that will deliver a pay rise to some of our most important and lowest-paid workers.
“In fact, many workers will be worse off if the Coalition wins government.”