Monday, 15 May 2023
Media release

First Aged Care Labour Agreement signed

Joint media release with the Hon Anika Wells MP

The Albanese Government has delivered the first signed Aged Care Labour Agreement, following the announcement of the new tripartite approach to boost aged care workers.

Curtin Heritage Living in Perth is now the first aged care provider in Australia to secure the new labour agreement, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United Worker’s Union for up to 570 workers across 5 years.

In order to address critical skills shortages across the sector, Curtin Heritage Living will gain access to priority visa processing as well as a two-year pathway to permanent residency as incentives for prospective workers.

Through this approach the aged care providers who enter into an MOU with their relevant union will benefit from increased recruitment and retention in their workforce.

Alongside a $36 billion aged care budget, including a $11.3 billion to fund a historic 15 per cent increase to the award wage, the Albanese Government is delivering a skilled, diverse and valued aged care workforce.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles

“This labour agreement is proof that collaboration between unions, business and governments is fundamental to addressing key skills shortages in the short term.

“The swift processing of this labour agreement reaffirms the Government’s commitment to addressing skill shortages within the care sector.”

“The delivery of this labour agreement is only possible because of the Albanese Government’s commitment to slash the visa backlog of almost one million and get our migration system working again in the interest of all Australians.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells

“Older people in Australia need a skilled, diverse and valued workforce so they can receive safe, high-quality, care.

“The new labour agreement will benefit aged care providers and the workforce by streamlining the employment and visa process for overseas workers.

“We are ambitious for aged care and the Albanese Government’s historic $36 billion-dollar aged care budget will help restore dignity to older people, just as the Royal Commission asked us to.

“I want to thank Minister Giles for helping to bolster the aged care workforce so some of our most vulnerable Australians receive a higher standard of care.”

Quotes attributable to National Director Aged Care and WA State Secretary, United Workers Union, Carolyn Smith

“Labor was elected on an ambitious promise of increasing care hours for aged care residents to 200 minutes a day by October, in line with Royal Commission recommendations and these measures are an important step towards addressing the workforce issues in aged care.

“It is a testament to what can be achieved when the Federal Government, unions and employers cooperate to address significant issues.

“We have always said in relation to visa workers, it’s no good introducing new workers who face the same workplace issues of low pay and too much work as those currently facing existing workers and I am hopeful the scheme will prevent this exploitation.”

Quotes attributable to Curtin Heritage Living Managing Director David Cox

“This Labour Agreement is a win for Curtin Heritage Living, our valued workforce, and our entire industry. With eligible individuals now able to access a pathway to the benefits of secure employment opportunities in Australia, allowing them to build a stable future for themselves and their families. As providers of care to older people, Curtin Heritage Living and our industry peers will be able to benefit from a diverse and skilled workforce, supporting us to deliver the best possible care to the people in our homes.

“From an industry perspective, we believe this agreement is a positive step toward addressing a critical shortage of skilled workers and will hopefully offer some relief to other aged care service providers. I would like to acknowledge the United Workers Union (UWU) and ACCPA, our industry peak body for their support during this process.”