HomeBreaking NewsHundreds of SA aged care workers threaten strike

Hundreds of SA aged care workers threaten strike


Aged Care workers from Anglicare SA and Southern Cross Care will formally lodge applications with the Fair Work Commission to press ahead with a ballot.Should the application be accepted, a formal vote would likely happen next month.Collectively, the organisations have about 20 homes across the state and look after almost 2000 residentsUnited Workers Union national aged care director Carolyn Smith said staff pay and conditions had failed workers and residents.She said employers had “failed” to support staff during the Covid-19 Omicron wave. “Aged care workers have been pushed to breaking point by understaffing, impossible workloads and the emotional toll of not having enough time or support to provide the quality of care that residents require,” Ms Smith said. “The terrible fact is that almost 12 months on from the Royal Commission report, older Australians still do not have access to the level of care required to ensure they can live with safety and dignity.” In February, The Advertiser reported that aged-care residents had been left sitting in faecal matter, unbathed, dehydrated and caring for as many as 60 people by themselves.There were calls for more support so that state’s most vulnerable could be protected.Southern Cross Care SA, NT & VIC chief executive David Moran said any industrial action could put residents at serious risk because of “workforce challenges”.AnglicareSA executive general manager aged care services Graydn Spinks said aged care workers deserve a higher wage that “reflects the value of the work they do”.“We share in sector-wide frustration over long-awaited wage funding reform from the Australian Government as recommended by the Royal Commission more than a year ago,” he said.Aged care worker Suzana, who would not share her last name or employer, is considering taking action because it is the “only way” to get more staff and better pay.“The conditions are absolutely horrendous … the expectations are higher but there is three times more work,” she said.“I would like to see a 25 per cent increase in wages.”Strike action is also being considered with staff at other providers in Queensland and Western Australia.

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