The Australian Government is preparing to distribute bonus payments to senior care workers as the sector is wrestling with Omicron. This is a renewed call from opposition and healthcare professionals to raise the sector’s minimum wage.
“The government will provide an additional A $ 209 million to help older care workers to continue caring for older Australians through a pandemic,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison, according to an excerpt of the speech seen. I’m doing it. ” According to SBS News.
The Prime Minister said the commitment was built on the $ 393 million support already provided to 234,000 elderly care workers and spread over three payments.
The latest scheme pays each employee $ 400 and a second $ 400 payment in May.
This applies to staff who provide long-term care, meals, and cleaning services at government-sponsored facilities, as well as staff based on the home care system.
Mark Butler, a health spokesman for the Australian Labor Party (ALP), said senior care facilities are still struggling to use rapid antigen testing and personal protective equipment.
“Once again, Scott Morrison has failed one of his most important tasks: keeping vulnerable elderly Australians in federal geriatric care facilities safe from the virus.” He told reporters on January 31st.
Bill Shorten, a spokesperson for ALP government services, and the health union responded by demanding a permanent increase in the minimum wage in the elderly care sector, but details of the economic feasibility of such a move. Was not provided.
“If you raise the base rate, you don’t need a sugar hit. The base interest rate would otherwise have to rise and we’ll have a hard time attracting people to the industry,” he said in February. I told Nine Network on the 1st.
“If you have to take care of the most vulnerable people, some of them may be in a difficult situation in housing care, but is $ 22 per hour before tax sufficient? I don’t think it is. “
Gerard Hayes, chairman of the Health Services Union, criticized the payment as a joke.
“Elderly caregivers, their families and communities aren’t stupid enough to foresee jewelry. We need more,” he told Sky News Australia.
Mr Hayes said he would support an application to raise wages in this sector by 25% if the prime minister is serious about the change. This is an issue currently under consideration by the Fair Labor Relations Commission.