Greens Leader, Adam Bandt MP, has backed in calls from aged care workers and their unions for a 25% wage increase for the aged care sector, saying their forthcoming fully-costed aged care policy will include a $6b yearly fund to help meet the pledge, along with other measures to be announced.
The Greens support large parts of Labor’s aged care plans announced in Anthony Albanese’s Budget in Reply, and will go further when the party releases its own aged care policy in coming weeks, but said Labor’s announcements did not include any clarity on what pay rise the workers could expect. In the next Parliament, the Greens say they will push in balance of power for aged care workers to get the full 25% wage increase they are seeking.
The Greens have said a permanent, full increase is required for some of our country’s most essential but underpaid workers.
Quotes attributable to Greens Leader, Adam Bandt MP:
“Underpaid and overworked aged care workers deserve a 25% pay rise.
“We desperately need to turf the Liberals out, but if the next government doesn’t commit to lifting aged care wages by 25%, the problems we’ve seen in aged care will continue.
“In balance of power, the Greens will kick the Liberals out and push the next government to lift aged care workers’ wages by 25%.
“By taxing billionaires and unwinding the privatisation of aged care we can more than meet the cost of this essential wage increase.”
Quotes attributable to Greens Aged Care spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice:
“Aged care workers do vital work caring for older Australians, but their wages are insultingly low.
“The aged care sector is in crisis and one in five workers are planning on quitting within the year. The Morrison government has failed older Australians and the workers who care for them.
“Aged care staff have worked tirelessly through the pandemic supporting our most vulnerable people, yet they are on some of the lowest wages in the country. It’s no wonder workers are leaving the sector in droves.
“Aged care workers need a permanent pay rise. A couple of one-off payments, that look suspiciously like an election bribe, doesn’t cut it. We don’t even know if all the workers have received those payments even though it was announced over a month ago.
“If the Greens are in balance of power after the election, we will push to ensure older voters and the working class aren’t left in the dust again by a future Labor government."