More than 12,000 aged care workers across eight major providers will strike over pay and conditions on Tuesday 10 May.

Carolyn Smith

“Aged care workers have been forced to take unprecedented strike action because of pay and conditions that are failing workers and failing residents,” United Workers Union aged care director Carolyn Smith said in a statement. Core grievances include low pay and staff shortages.

The national day of action will affect some of the biggest aged care providers in the country including BlueCare in Queensland, Southern Cross Care in South Australia, and Aegis in Western Australia.

Workers will walk off the job in each state around 11.30am, ahead of attending planned strike rallies at 1pm in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth CBDs.

In all, 160 facilities that are home to 12,700 residents will be touched by the strike action. The UWU has said that residents will continue to be cared for during the mass walkout.

The strikes are legal industrial action after workers voted overwhelmingly in favour of a walkout last month after failing to reach acceptable enterprise bargaining agreements.

Timed to coincide with the federal election campaign, Ms Smith said aged care workers were fed up with waiting for the government to address the aged care crisis. “Aged care workers were promised the royal commission would fix things,” she said. “It didn’t – in fact things are worse.”

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