Election 2022: Albanese promises employment summit to improve wages and productivity

Anthony Albanese

Source: AAP/Lukas Coch

An employment summit bringing unions and employer groups together to thrash out how to improve wages and ensure productivity will be held by a Labor government if elected on May 21, according to Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese.

Albanese told the ABC’s 7.30 that a summit is needed to work out how best to improve outcomes for both employers and employees.

He said there were other ways in which a government can act to secure wage rises and one of those is to write to the Fair Work Commission to encourage it to consider bumping up the wages in the aged care sector.

Albanese’s advocacy for an increase in aged care worker salaries is linked with his budget-in-reply speech where he set out a range of aged care priorities, including increasing the time carers spent with patients and also making the presence of a registered nurse in aged care centres at all times mandatory.

“I believe very firmly that people who are on the minimum wage, which is just $20.33, shouldn’t fall further behind. And I believe in particular sectors like the aged care sector, where the royal commission said unless we increase wages people will leave the sector — more people will leave the sector — that we need to address that,” Albanese said.

“And the government should make a submission to the Fair Work Commission for the case that is before it right now and say they support a wage increase for people in the aged care sector.”

Albanese declined to address any possible areas of budget cuts or new tax measures during the interview. He said that Labor has focused on spending that was aimed at increasing productivity while being mindful of the debt any incoming government will need to manage.

“We will inherit $1 trillion of debt, that is why we are being very careful about our spending commitment and making sure they’re prioritised to things like making more things here, powering Australia, childcare, better infrastructure and the NBN,” Albanese said.

This article was first published by The Mandarin.

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