Aged care providers across Australia have made a commitment to increase worker pay from July 1, 2023, with the support of the Federal Government. The decision follows a work value case put before the Fair Work Commission by the unions, which received support from the Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA), Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, Catholic Health Australia, and UnitingCare Australia.
Tom Symondson, CEO of ACCPA, has praised the government’s commitment to fully fund the pay increase, along with associated costs, so that aged care providers can pass on the increase to their staff. Symondson has also invited providers across the country to make their own pledge, which many have already committed to doing.
This move is expected to help providers offer safe and high-quality care for older people. With staff shortages during a pandemic and the rising cost of living, aged care workers have been facing tough times. This pay rise is a much-needed boost to help them feel appreciated for their commitment.
ACCPA members have been invited to sign a pledge to pass on every cent of the funding to the pay increase for their staff. The pledge reads, “We, as a responsible and supportive provider that values our aged care workers, proudly pledge that every additional dollar the Federal Government gives us for this purpose will be used to pay for the increase to wages and associated on-costs.”
This commitment is significant as the federal government has committed to fully funding a 15% increase to award rates for aged care workers who provide direct care to residents, which is roughly 70% of the total 320,000 aged care workforce. However, there have been concerns raised by unions that some providers will refuse to fully pass on the money to workers who are paid above the award rate and instead use the cash for other purposes.
Catholic Health Australia providers have also made a similar pledge, stating that every cent of extra government money for wages will go into workers’ pockets. The move is expected to demonstrate to the workforce that they are truly valued and are integral to the health and well-being of older Australians.
Clare Grieveson, Southern Cross Care Western Australia Chief Executive, said, “The aged care industry is currently experiencing a workforce shortage crisis, so this increase will help improve the sector’s ability to acquire and retain experienced care staff to ensure the industry is providing the very best care and quality of life for older Australians.”
Overall, the move by aged care providers to increase worker pay and fully pass on the government’s funding is expected to be a positive step towards ensuring that aged care workers feel appreciated and supported in their important roles.