The ACTU has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to call on the 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 says it 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 is says is necessary to ensure that “insecure workers in aged and disability support get vaccinated”.
ACTU Secretary, Sally McManus said that instead of working constructively with workers’ representatives, the Federal Government had “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”.
“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,” Ms McManus said today.
“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.”
Ms McManus claims the Federal 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,” she said.