Workers enter fourth week of strike action over pay

Workers at BlueCare, AnglicareSA, Southern Cross Care and Churches of Christ stage walkouts this week.

BlueCare aged care workers walked off the job on Thursday and marched to the provider’s head office in Brisbane’s city centre where they staged a protest over low pay.

The action came after workers rejected an offer of a 2 per cent wage increase made by BlueCare’s parent company Uniting Church.

Carolyn Smith

“It says a lot about a lack of respect for aged care workers that this week BlueCare only offered their workers a miserable 2 per cent pay rise,” said United Workers Union aged care director Carolyn Smith.

“The Uniting Church’s leaders clearly don’t care inflation is now running at 5 per cent and already low-paid workers would be left to go backwards,” she added.

Striking workers gathered at BlueCare’s Ann Street headquarters at 12.30pm with flags, placards and banners ahead of speeches at 12.45pm.

Ms Smith called BlueCare’s 2 per cent offer “salt in the wound” for the workforce. “Aged care workers have turned up every day to care for residents while the Omicron wave still ravages facilities – yet they are shown no respect by BlueCare.”

There were protests too at AnglicareSA’s head office in Hindmarsh after its workers also dismissed an offer of a 2 per cent pay rise.

“Aged care workers are being forced to take unprecedented strike action as a result of pay and conditions that are failing workers and failing residents,“ said Ms Smith.

More strikes are planned for Friday when similar protests are due to take place at the head offices of Churches of Christ in Brisbane and Southern Cross Care SA in Adelaide.

These latest wave of strikes follow three protests last month.

Main image: BlueCare workers outside Uniting Church HQ Thursday

This story has been updated for accuracy

Comment on the story below. Follow Australian Ageing Agenda on LinkedInX (Twitter) and Facebook, sign up to our twice-weekly newsletter and subscribe to our premium content or AAA magazine for the complete aged care picture.  

Tags: blue-care, carolyn smith, featured, southern-cross-care, strike, United Workers Union,

3 thoughts on “Workers enter fourth week of strike action over pay

  1. The Uniting church did well to offer 2% considering that the governments have failed to fund wages properly. I understand that the increase probably doesn’t cut it but any unfunded pay increase is impossible for underfunded facilities.

  2. Management 30% pay rise. Personal Carer 0. Still waiting since 2013 for a new EBA, Uniting Care keep stalling. What happened to the 74 Million in Job Keeper payment that Uniting Care received ?

  3. Bluecare is not underfunded. Last year they announced a 60 million dollar profit, and gave their ‘managers’ a 30% rise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *