The government may now have resorted to union conscription for aged care workers, as it is reported that commonwealth funding for aged care providers would be tied to union-based enterprise bargaining agreements.
This proposal amounts to a direct intervention in the private sector by the commonwealth to seek a favourable outcome for a vested interest – the union movement.
Unions represent only 13 per cent of the private sector workforce, which is where most aged care is provided.
Aged care providers may have to conscript workers who are in unions in order to qualify for funds. This is even though the vast majority of workers choose not to be in unions.
The union that does cover many aged care workers, the Health Services Union, is mired in corruption. How will funding be handled so that aged care providers do not force their workers to be members of such a union until it is cleaned up?
The Fair Work Act prohibits most forms of discrimination against workers. The promised aged care funding is likely to discriminate against the many aged care workers who are not in unions.
This is an unprecedented move that has the potential to spill into other areas of government purchasing.
In fact the proposal is to use public funding to prop up incumbent unions in the aged care sector.
This is a reactionary proposal that should be dropped.
Further information: Adam Bisits 0438 405 527