Elderly caregivers eligible for $800 bonus starting today

Another said the bounty is “an insult to all social workers of age. I would waive this payment for staffing ratios and a salary increase that actually reflects what we do.

A handful of support group members said their employer increased salaries when staff were short. One said her employer had also hired additional staff.

“Our establishment has given us a 25% salary increase over the past two fortnights and has hired additional staff at an agency. We have COVID cases and we are exhausted, exhausted.

“Our management listened to us… What a difference. We can actually spend that time with a resident… It’s also nice to look at our payslip – I just wish it was something every week.

She added, “That extra 25% should be what residential workers get every time.”

Unions have advocated for older workers to receive a 25% wage increase. The case is currently before the Fair Work Commission, which is examining the value of aged care work.

Although the older worker told HelloCare that the extra pay will continue until staff no longer have to wear full personal protective equipment, the extra staff are no longer on site.

“We are all exhausted again, exhausted,” she said.

She has worked in elder care for 17 years, and during that time her rate of pay has gone from $17 an hour to $23 an hour.

“My 21-year-old daughter earns more than me,” she said.

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Elaine R. Knight