Labor blocks Workforce Supplement repeal

The Opposition has blocked the Federal Government’s moves to repeal the Aged Care Workforce Supplement.

The Opposition has blocked the Federal Government’s moves to repeal the Aged Care Workforce Supplement.

Yesterday in the Senate Labor moved to lift the government’s prohibitions on the $1.2 billion scheme, which it said would “clear the way” for more providers to access it.

Shadow Minister for Ageing Shayne Neumann criticised the Assistant Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews for trying to stop workers getting the Supplement, just months after it first began. “One of this government’s first acts was to try and stop any more applications for this payment, which delivers better pay and conditions for some of the nation’s lowest paid workers,” Mr Neumann said.

The previous government provided $1.2 billion over four years for the Supplement, which began on 1 July, 2013. According to Labor, 18 aged care providers have successfully applied for the supplement, with $1.1 billion still available for distribution.

The Supplement was part of the Living Longer Living Better aged care reform package to address staff shortages and the career development of workers.

In September the Federal Government suspended applications for the Supplement and said the department had been instructed to stop processing further applications for the supplementary pay rises. The government said the Supplement did not guarantee improved pay and conditions for all aged care workers and for many providers was conditional upon the signing of a “union-dictated EBA.”

The suspension of the Supplement was welcomed by many aged care providers but angered unions.

Yesterday, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Aged Care Senator Helen Polley lodged motions to disallow the determinations in the Senate. It is expected the Greens will support the move.

“The government needs to realise there are serious pressures on the aged care system as more of us live longer,” Senator Polley said.

“Although the sector is growing, it is experiencing a high turnover of staff. We recognise that many of these workers are motivated by compassion, but they deserve to be given better pay and fairer conditions. As the demands of the population are growing, our workforce needs assistance to help it cope,” she said.

What do you think of Labor’s moves to block the Workforce Supplement? COMMENT BELOW 

Tags: helen polley, mitch-fifield, shayne-neumann, workforce-supplement,

2 thoughts on “Labor blocks Workforce Supplement repeal

  1. Go Labor. You are our last hope to stand up to that decrepit government that somehow won office.

  2. Senator Polley hasn’t spoken to me. Our facility does not experience the serious pressures and high turnover she refers to. Most operators that I have spoken to feel that there is unnecessary burden in pursuing Enterprise Agreements for all staff. The time and cost involved is not worth the return. Our Board has committed to pay staff above award regardless of an EBA or the Workforce Supplement. I support the Federal Governments concept of changing the criteria and simplifying the access the the remaining $1.1billion.

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