The Guardian • Issue #2005

New initiatives to address national care crisis a massive win for women workers

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2005

Photo: PxHere (CC0 Public Domain)

The union for aged care workers, early childhood educators and disability support workers has welcomed today’s announcement that an Albanese Labor government would deliver ground-breaking new initiatives to help address the chronic wage crisis in these female-dominated sectors.

United Workers’ Union Aged Care Director Carolyn Smith said workers in these sectors, mostly women, had been underpaid and undervalued for too long and urgent action was needed.

“This is a promising announcement that would see two expert panels set up and an Equal Remuneration Principle to help guide the Fair Work Commission in ensuring wage equity for women workers and in sectors including aged care, early education and disability support.

“Our country and our economy would fall apart without carers, educators and support workers, so it is time we had a government that will implement measures to ensure these workers are paid higher wages, and to ensure quality of care.

“We know that these sectors have majority female workers, and these workers are still fighting to be respected, to be valued and to be paid what they are worth.

“While Scott Morrison has paid lip service calling them heroes throughout the pandemic, he has failed to take any real action to address the issues in these sectors and lift wages to reflect the vital work they do.

“In stark comparison, Mr Albanese has actually listened to the workers who are on the frontline and is presenting real solutions to fix this crisis.

“Aged care workers are fed up with this do-nothing Morrison government which has let the sector get to breaking point. Aged care workers have been left with no choice but to take strike action next week to stand up for better pay and conditions, and better care for their residents.

“The crisis will only get worse if nothing is done, as demand for services and staff across early learning, disability support and aged care is through the roof.

“Australia deserves a government that cares and acts, instead of going missing when things are tough.”

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