Catholic Religious Australia says the passage of the Albanese Government’s Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill is “good news for everyone”, particularly for care sector workers.
The Fair Work legislation amendment was passed the Senate on Friday. CRA has previously made a submission to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee supporting the introduction of the bill.
In a statement yesterday, CRA said it applauded the Government “for introducing measures which strengthen multi-employer bargaining”, which was a key point in CRA’s Senate submission.
Australia has experienced significant income stagnation for almost 10 years, with wages growth decelerating from an average of 4 per cent each year prior to 2013 to about 2 per cent each year. The spread of the gig economy and the growing role of labour-hire firms have significantly changed the nature of the labour market, particularly in the care sector.
CRA president Fr Peter Jones SOA said the “strengthening of multi-employer bargaining is good news for everyone but especially those who work in the care sector”.
“This will help improve the historically low pay rates for employees who play such an important role in the lives of many persons who are older or living with disability.”
The long-term care workforce has become increasingly individualised, with low union membership, poor pay and insecure working hours.
CRA also welcomed the introduction of a cap on fixed term contracts as a step in the right direction towards improving the situation for those facing the challenge of insecure work.
“Work should never be reduced to a mere commodity,” said CRA national executive director Anne Walker.
“The right to safe, secure and fulfilling work is central to the dignity of the human person and our industrial relations system should facilitate the achievement of this objective,” she said.