We have to use our voice

Alex Beaumont

While everyone else is sleeping, we provide professional care for the aging.

That’s the reality of life for me and 21 other United Voice members at an aged care facility of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

We work round-the-clock. We work weekends, Christmas and Easter. Whenever our senior citizens need care, we answer the call.

We know aged care is a 24/7 industry but it’s also an industry where penalty rates are standard. Most people accept that is only fair given the hours we work.

But now we see a major threat to those pay rates in our industry. First they come for the hospitality and retail workers, next they will come for aged care and other sectors, as sure as night follows day.

I would lose 40 percent of my pay without penalty rates.

It’s the same for everyone working here – none of us can afford to take a pay cut. We are among the lowest income earners and we need and deserve our penalty rates.

People here are stressed about the future. There’s a very strong feeling that we have to fight for our rightful entitlements.

That’s why we need to use our voice through our union and social media. We’ve already done Save Our Weekend Christmas cards and we’ve lobbied our local MP.

This is a fight for quality of life – something much more important than higher profits for a few business owners.

Alexander Beaumont, aged care worker, Sunshine Coast

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