Saturday, April 28, 2012

Screwing the worker

R's sister works full time, including weekends at an old age person care place in the north of England. Using today's exchange rate, her weekly wage is AU$296. Surely that must be after various deductions. She likes the work and has her own place and received a decent settlement from her ex husband, so she can manage, but she gets nothing extra for weekend work. It is not really comparing apples and apples if you take into account their free health care, as against our 'free' healthcare. Regardless though, it is a pitiful wage. Isn't our old age pension a good bit more than that? Perhaps we in Australia aren't so badly off at all.

She found Australia expensive this visit but not on her previous visits. Not surprising really as in the past and when we went to England, it was about 47 pence to our dollar. Now it is 67 pence to our dollar. The tables have turned.

As is the wont of Tory Prime Ministers, Cameron is doing a fine job of taking from the poor to give to the rich. Taxes are lowered for the rich while services, pay, working conditions and pensions are cut for the poorer. And they wonder why people riot.


  1. Nursing home workers are poorly paid here too but we do have conditions not as readily available in many other countries.

  2. Anonymous10:51 am

    Our old age pension is on par with that wage, which seems stupidly low. Then again, our equivalents get paid rubbish too. It seems any job that is caring for someone isn't worth paying much for (my job included!)


  3. Victor is totally right on both counts, though I do wonder just how long it will be before penalties disappear completely.

  4. How can British Prime Minister Cameron being doing a fine job when the U.K. has gone back into another resession from yesterday? :-).

  5. I don't understand people voting for conservative parties. The voters knew in advance that Cameron would be taking from the poor to give to the rich. So they got exactly what they voted for.

  6. R's sister's weekly wage is not much more than mine, I'm earning $279 per week, but I don't work full time AND I get an allowance from centrelink to help out. So I'm better off.
    I think it's dreadful that people anywhere earn so little for caring for our elderly. It's hard work and I think there should be penalty rates for weekend work. Does R's sister have any sort of superannuation savings plan?

  7. I worked in a nursing home when I was young and it was the hardest work I have ever done, and paid the lowest. Needless to say, I didn't last long.

    "They" know why people riot. They just don't care. At all.

  8. Victor, it is fair to say they are underpaid. Why are all caring professions underpaid?

    FC, once penalties are traded off, over time the extra received for trade off will disappear. Many examples.

    Windsmoke, it is only a technical recession, which is different from a real recession because......?

    I don't get it either Hels. Perhaps it is the lack of an alternative to Labour there. My conscience wouldn't allow me.

    River, probably not. The state does tend to give better care there for the elderly.

    Rubye, rioting in their own suburbs and destroying their own infrastructure is stupid. They need to organise better and hit where it hurts.

  9. Anonymous10:21 am

    hmmm, my comment didn't work yesterday and now I've forgotten what I said. Ah well.

  10. No doubt it was witty and intelligent Fen.