A third round of aged care strikes has taken place on Friday at the facility level in three states.
Workers in seven major aged care providers caring for thousands of aged care residents participated in the industrial action. Among those providers affected were BlueCare in Queensland, Southern Cross Care in South Australia and Aegis in Western Australia.
“Aged care workers are buoyed by the promises of change made by Labor,” said United Workers Union aged care director Carolyn Smith. “Unfortunately, those promises do not immediately address the continuing crisis facing workers and residents across the country.”
An aged care worker from SA said they were walking off the job because of inadequate staff numbers. “We are burnt out, we are stressed, we are always short of staff. We want more staff – not just for us but for our residents. They are suffering.”
Another worker from Queensland said: “We’re pushed to the limit by management, working with no breaks. Stress is at a dangerous high. Residents are anxious and the workload is unmanageable.”
Aged care workers have made it clear that they demand the best possible wage increase from their employers, said Ms Smith. “And they continue to demand employers take responsibility for the conditions workers and residents face,” she added.
Messages of solidarity were posted on the union’s Tweeter feed.
Fresh from election victory, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese voiced his support for the aged care workforce.
In a statement, the UWU warned that aged care workers will next week take their protests to the head offices of Anglicare and Southern Cross Care in SA, and Churches of Christ and BlueCare in Queensland if the providers continue to ignore workers’ demands.
“Workers will continue to hold their bosses to account,” said Ms Smith. “Angry aged care workers will continue to fight through every means available to win better pay, better conditions and more time to care.”
Main image: aged care workers walk off the job at BlueCare’s Tallyhaven site.