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Hundreds of thousands of aged care workers are set to receive substantial additional pay corrections, representing wage rates boosted by around 30 per cent from a year ago in many cases, after a Fair Work Commission decision this afternoon.

Today the Fair Work Commission (FWC) announced its decision on Stage 3 of the Aged Care Work Value Case, which was considering union’s claims for a 25 per cent pay rise because aged care work had been historically undervalued.

Today’s decision awards hundreds of thousands of aged care workers with substantial top-up pay rises after last year’s 15 per cent pay rise from the same case, with today’s decision awarding work value pay rises totalling up to 28.5 per cent in some cases.

A Cert III personal care worker now on level 3 – the most common level – will see their wage rate rise from $24.76 an hour in June last year to $32.21 an hour after applying the additional 8 per cent wage increase from today’s decision – or a total cent increase of around 30 per cent.*

“We welcome today’s historic recognition that aged care workers are at the heart of quality care for aged care residents, and should be paid accordingly,” Carolyn Smith, Aged Care Director, United Workers Union, said.

“For too long the work provided by aged care workers has been undervalued, and it’s great to see that recognised in up to 28 per cent total work value wage increases.

“When these substantial increases are included with last year’s 5.75 per cent movement in award wages, aged care workers are in line for life-changing pay rises that finally recognise the hard work they do.

“The pay increases also serve to reward the skills, knowledge and experience of aged care workers, and represents a career progression that has been lacking for so long.”

Unfortunately in today’s decision aged care workers in catering, cleaning and laundry have only been awarded a pay rise of just under 7 per cent – which is far behind the total work value pay rises awarded to personal care workers. Maintenance workers have been awarded a 3 per cent pay rise.

“Failure to fully recognise support workers for the vital work they do in aged care is greatly disappointing for our members,” Ms Smith said.

“Aged care workers in catering, cleaning, laundry and maintenance play a vital role in the lives of aged care residents.

“They are often the face of aged care to many, going well beyond providing the essential services of food, clean rooms, laundry and a well-functioning facility.”

Over the last year, United Workers Union members have been fighting for support workers to receive the same 15 per cent pay correction awarded to other aged care workers nationally.

“While a pay correction of just under 7 per cent is a start, the fight for aged care support workers to be fairly recognised for the work they do will continue,” Ms Smith said.

* Increase includes award-wage increase paid last year.


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