More than three weeks after an aged care bonus program launched, 97 per cent of aged care workers in a new survey say they have not received a bonus.
In a United Workers Union survey of more than 1000 aged care workers, many expressed their anger at the failure of the program to offer speedy bonuses, with payments caught up in a lengthy bureaucratic process.
“This Federal Government bonus has further angered aged care workers rather than giving them the timely reward they deserve for working through Omicron,” National Aged Care Director Carolyn Smith said today.
“More than 900 older Australians have died from Covid in aged care facilities this year.
“Yet more than seven weeks since the $800 bonus program was announced and more than three weeks since it was launched, 97 per cent of aged care workers say they have no bonus.
“To further illustrate the repeated failures aged care workers have to face from their employers and the Federal Government, 77 per cent of the aged care workers say they have received no information about the bonus.
“Aged care workers were failed in the vaccination program, they were failed with PPE, they were left to fend for themselves during Omicron working repeated double shifts – and now they have been failed in the bonus program.
“Aged care workers haven’t been fooled – this bonus doesn’t even touch the sides on the chronic understaffing, the outrageous workloads and the lack of time to care that existed even before Covid.
“It’s little wonder that aged care workers this week are lodging applications across facilities employing more than 13,000 aged care workers in a big step towards taking protected strike action.”
The level of anger among aged care workers responding to the survey was illustrated by more than 450 workers leaving additional comments about their disappointment.
A SA aged care worker said: “Whilst the bonus is appreciated it seems more like the government just want us to be quiet about the stress we face daily as carers, the lack of staff to residents and our pathetic pay rates.”
A WA aged care worker said: “We don’t need a bonus that is taxed, we need a pay rise!”
A Qld aged care worker said: “Bonus payments are great but it’s not a fix to the problems we face in our job. We need better staff to resident ratio. Pay rise would be nice too.”
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