Great news for aged care workers! The federal government has announced that will commit a record $11.3bn in next week’s budget to fund a 15% pay rise for aged care workers coming into effect in one hit from July.
The historic wage increase applies to all underpaid direct-care employers working in aged care. This includes personal-care workers, cooks, recreational officers, nursing assistants, enrolled & registered nurses, and homecare workers.
The Albanese government will announce on Thursday the funding to meet a Fair Work Commission ruling, which would help the industry attract and retain staff in the struggling sector.
In November the Fair Work Commission announced an interim decision to increase aged care pay by 15%, acknowledging that the workforce has been historically undervalued – The government’s initial plan was to split the 15% rise over two years, proposing 10% in 2023 and 5% more in 2024, which was heavily criticised by unions and the opposition. The final decision to deliver the full pay rise for aged care workers from July is a positive step forward.
The government says a registered nurse will receive up to $200 extra a week, or a $10,000-a-year rise; an assistant in nursing will get $137 extra a week; while a personal or home care worker will get $141 more a week.
It is a much-needed investment that will help to improve the quality of care provided to vulnerable individuals while also supporting the workforce in the sector.
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