Gold Coast aged care workers among thousands to walk off job

Thousands of aged care workers, including those on the Gold Coast, will today walk off the job in an unprecedented aged care strike across Australia.

Around 5000 staff in Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia are taking part in the industrial action, calling for higher pay and increased staffing at nursing homes.

“Aged care workers are being forced to take unprecedented strike action today because of pay and conditions that are failing workers and failing residents,” United Workers Union Aged Care Director, Carolyn Smith, said.


Workers will also gather at Queen’s Gardens Park in Brisbane for a rally amid the widespread anger about the treatment of workers and aged care residents.

“Aged care workers are beside themselves with fatigue and they are emotionally exhausted by the distressed residents they see every single day,” Ms Smith said.

“Across these major providers residents are being left without basic needs being met, they are left soiled for extended periods and they are at risk of falls when left unattended.

“In addition, aged care workers face pay levels so low they can barely afford the petrol to get to work and outrageously heavy workloads mean a majority of aged care workers are thinking about resigning for good.”

It’s the first time aged care workers have taken national strike action in regards to pay and staffing levels.

In a statement, National Seniors Australia said they supported today’s planned walkout.

“I understand why aged care workers are walking out, the Royal Commission highlighted how challenging their work is and recommended more workers, better trained workers and better paid workers,” National Seniors Chief advocate Ian Henschke said.