Lee Thomas, Acting Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) today welcomed the Fair Work Australia decision to lift minimum award rates by $26 per week.
“Finally low paid aged care workers who have been suffering under a two year wages freeze will have some relief and receive a wage increase.
“The decision last year to freeze the minimum award rate meant it was the lowest paid in the country, including aged care nurses and care staff, who had to carry the burden of the global financial crisis.
“It was the sacrifice of many low paid workers, including aged care nurses and care staff that helped get Australia through the global financial crisis.
“This decision recognises that there have been big cost of living increases over the last two years and will help aged care nurses and care staff cope with those pressures.
“There remains though long-term challenges to close the $300 wages gap between aged care nurses and nurses in public hospitals.
“The ANF welcomes the strong focus of the Rudd Government on this issue and looks forward to the recently announced Productivity Commission review of the sector to help find ways to bridge this gap,” Ms Thomas said.