The ACTU has written to Prime Minister Morrison to call on his government to provide two days special paid leave per vaccination for all workers in aged care and disability support services, as well as ensuring that all workers are paid for travel to and from getting vaccinated.
The letter to the Prime Minister also calls on the Morrison Government to honour its promise to provide in-workplace vaccinations for aged and disability care workers, as well as providing a public information campaign to make sure that working people have the information they need about the vaccine and how they can get it.
The ACTU has been in constant communication with the Prime Minister and his Ministers since the start of the vaccine rollout, offering assistance and campaigning for the support which we know is necessary to ensure that insecure workers in aged and disability support get vaccinated.
Instead of working constructively with workers’ representatives the Morrison Government has walked away from its commitment to in-workplace vaccinations and has attempted to shift blame for its failed vaccine rollout onto workers who have been on the frontline in the fight against the virus.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“Workers in aged and disability care are being asked to go without pay for multiple days to get the vaccine and deal with routine side effects. This is a huge financial disincentive for low-paid, insecure workers.
“We have been telling the Morrison Government since the start of the rollout, both privately and publicly, that it was essential that these workers be supported to get the vaccine. Other frontline health and high priority workers have been provided with paid leave to attend vaccination and recover from side effects and the same should apply for aged care and disability support workers.
“The Morrison Government is now trying to shift blame for the failed vaccine rollout onto workers who have been working around the clock to keep our most vulnerable people safe from the virus. Rather than attacking them it should be making sure they are supported to access the vaccines that they need to keep themselves and the community safe.
“The Morrison Government has refused to take responsibility at every turn through this pandemic. We are asking them to do the bare minimum to ensure that workers and vulnerable people in aged and disability care are safe from this virus as soon as possible.”