National Seniors Australia supports today’s planned walkout by aged care workers in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland.
National Seniors Chief advocate Ian Henschke says, “I understand why aged care workers are walking out, the Royal Commission highlighted how challenging their work is and recommended more workers, better trained workers and better paid workers.”
National Seniors supports the proposal to lift wages before the Fair Work commission. We hope this is concluded quickly so we can attract and retain the workers needed in aged care.
“The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) said in a recent report we need 17,000 extra aged care workers in Australia each year.”
National Seniors has been stepping up its ‘Let Pensioners Work’ campaign as one way to help attract and retain workers in sectors, such as aged care.
“If pensioners could work in aged care, without losing their pension, this would give them better pay and would mean more aged care workers were available.”
Mr Henschke cited recent research by National Seniors Australia showing 20% of pensioners surveyed would consider going back into the workforce. Some of these people could be attracted to working in aged care as well as other industries.
“We have been told directly by industries such as aged care, agriculture, hospitality and tourism that they desperately need older workers to fill shortages now,” Mr Henschke said. “Allowing pensioners to keep their pension if they work in aged care would provide an additional incentive to work in this critical sector.”
“All we are saying is give this plan a chance.”