Lithgow aged care workers on the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis stopped work on Wednesday, June 24 as part of a statewide movement to lift wages for the sector.
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Essential employees gathered at the entrance of Lithgow's Cooinda nursing home for a friendly protest as part of the 'Fight for Five' campaign.
The movement aims to protest for the Federal Government to provide a five per cent pay rise to aged care workers, who currently earn as little as $21 an hour.
Lithgow Aged Care (LAC) Health Services Union (HSU) delegate Jani McGovern said aged care workers deserved the increase because they were on the frontline.
"We are actually looking after your parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles.
"It's not just doctors and nurses - aged care workers get forgotten," she said.
She said it was a pyramid of workers who have been going above and beyond to keep LAC Covid-safe.
"It's from top down - carers, senior carers, cleaners, kitchen staff, every member of HSU that I've got in here are part of a multi-skill set and we all deserve the pay rise.
"Cleaners have gone above and beyond and even maintenance to protect this place and the oldies from Covid," she said.
"They have been so diligent in cleaning and making sure this place is spotless."
Ms McGovern said extra precautions were also in place for the safety of residents.
"Even when residents come back from hospital or doctors appointments they get isolated just for extra precaution," she said.
She said when people entered the nursing home there was a station at the front entrance where they could sign in and sanitise.
"Everyone who comes to the facility must come through the front entrance where they are sighted, have their temperature taken, sign in and sanitise their hands," she said.
"We're adhering to social distancing and a part from a small threat of Covid in Lithgow we have been extremely lucky."
Ms McGovern said she was proud of Lithgow Aged Care workers and was humbled to be part of the team.
She said she was proud of them taking time out of their breaks to protest and stand united with HSU.
"They're doing it in their own time so they're not taking anything away from the company or the care of residents," she said.
She said as aged care workers they were putting themselves and their families at risk by working on the frontline.
All aged care workers across the board deserve this increase.- Jani McGovern
"We've got to be thinking two steps in front for [Covid] prevention measures, so we deserve that five per cent.
"All aged care workers across the board deserve this increase," she said.
Ms McGovern also hoped the community would support their local aged care workers.
"Just be behind us please, this is a community based nursing home and we are quite proud of that.
"The community deserve to know our plight as well and I'm sure they'll be behind us 100 per cent."
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