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protected industrial action in aged care

Time is up! Thousands of aged care workers across the country are voting for the right to take protected strike action if their claims for better pay, better conditions and more time to care are not met.

They are fighting for enough time to give older Australians the quality care they need and deserve. Add your support and see what actions you can take to win good jobs and quality care. 

frequently asked questions

Taking protected industrial action is a way to put pressure on your employer while you are bargaining for better pay and working conditions. It is your legal right to take protected industrial action. Protected action might include work bans, stop-work meetings or strikes.  

Under Australia’s workplace laws, protected industrial action like strikes can only be taken in limited circumstances by workers who are currently in bargaining with their employer and where their union is genuinely trying to reach agreement with the employer in question. Workers must also be a member of UWU to participate in UWU action. 

At the moment, some aged care workers in Qld, SA and WA who have been bargaining with their employer are eligible to be balloted for industrial action. 

Under Australia’s workplace laws, protected industrial action like strikes can only be taken in limited circumstances by workers who are currently in bargaining with their employer and where their union is genuinely trying to reach agreement with the employer in question. Workers must also be a member of UWU to participate in UWU action. 

There are LOTS of ways for other aged care workers to be part of the campaign to Change Aged Care. This page has links and more information.

To give enough time to ensure residents are cared for, the union will offer to consult with affected providers about arrangements for the safety and wellbeing of residents, on top of the union’s legal obligations to give providers notice about the actions that will be taken.

Dates for possible strike action are still to be determined. This information will be shared with UWU members as soon as possible with relevant employers notified as required under workplace laws. 

  • You need to be a UWU member so make sure you join if you haven’t already 
  • You need to update your contact details to ensure that you are able to vote in the ballot to allow protected industrial action (if there is a ballot taking place in your workplace) 
  • You will then need to vote YES to taking protected industrial action (if you are eligible to vote)
  • If the ballot is successful with a majority of union members voting in support of action, you will then be ready to be part of any planned strike action 

The timing below is likely to vary for different providers so this is just a rough guide.

Late March: Aged care workers at some providers are likely to apply for the right to vote on taking protected industrial action. 

Mid-April: A vote of union members at those providers will be taken to allow protected industrial action.  

Important fact: A majority of eligible union members must vote in support of action in a secret ballot.  

Early May: If the vote is passed and a provider continues not to listen to workers’ demands, aged care workers at that provider will be able to take protected industrial action.

No. Your boss cannot discipline you, reduce your hours, harass or intimidate you because you have taken part in protected industrial action provided.  

As long as a worker is taking protected industrial action (is a UWU member and works at a facility where a successful ballot has been held for protected industrial action) you have a right to participate and cannot be fired for taking part in planned and protected industrial action. 

No. You will not receive pay for the period that you are on strike.

If your question is not answered here you can request a callback from one of our friendly Aged Care Organisers.

 

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