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Victorian nurses and midwives endorse 28.4% wages offer

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) 4 mins read

Victorian public sector nurses and midwives have voted today to endorse a government offer for a 28.4 per cent (compounded) wage increase by November 2027 and more than 70 improvements to allowances, penalties and terms and conditions.

The ANMF statewide members meeting was held Wednesday 26 June in Melbourne and eight satellite venues in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Mildura, Shepparton, Traralgon, Wangaratta and Warrnambool.

The offer realises the gender equity increase the Fair Work Commission expert panel has foreshadowed in ANMF’s aged care work value case and provides dates for all increases and restores relativities between approximately 30 classifications.

All allowances and penalties will increase by 28.4% by the end of the agreement. Some penalties such as night duty and qualifications allowance will increase by much more.

ANMF’s aged care work value case began in 2021 in response to the aged care royal commission recommendations. FWC President Justice Hatcher and the expert panel’s stage 3 decision on 15 March provided ANMF with a strong starting point to argue in negotiations with the Allan Government that the work of public sector nurses and midwives as a whole has been undervalued based on gender.

The percentage increases vary for the graduate nurse/midwife and the first seven registered nurse classifications up to Grade 2 Year 7. These classifications, which would have been paid lower than the Award once the FWC makes its final decision, will increase by the full gender equity uplift in July 2024. This increase will be followed by three more annual increases. For these classifications:

  • 2024 increases vary between 17.51% and 5.00%
  • 2025 increases vary between 3% and 4.23%
  • 2026 increases vary between 3% and 4.1%
  • 2027 increases vary between 3% and 12.72%

Section 206 of the Fair Work Act requires that an EBA pay rate must not be less than the otherwise applicable Nurses Award rate. Public sector employers will only be required to flow the Award increase outcomes to those who work in public aged care where they fall below the new Nurses Award rates when they are decided.

ANMF has secured the foreshadowed increase for all classifications including those above Grade 2 year 7. These classifications will have two increases per year:

  • In 2024 increases will occur in June and July and total 5%
  • In 2025 increases will occur in May and November and total 4.22%
  • In 2026 increases will occur in May and November and total 4.09%
  • In 2027 increases will occur in May and November and total 12.72%

All classifications will be earning 28.4% (compounded) more on their base rate by 29 November 2027.  Some examples are:

Classification

Current rate weekly base rate

Current rate hourly base rate

November 2027 weekly base rate

November 2027 hourly base rate

Enrolled Nurse Level 2 Cert IV Year 4

$1313.10

$34.56

$1686

$44.37

Enrolled Nurse level 2 Diploma Year 1

$1285.70

$33.83

$1650.80

$43.44

RUSON/RUSOM Year 1

$974

$25.63

$1358.80

$35.76

A graduate nurse/ midwife

$1298.60

$34.17

$1667.60

43.88

Grade 2 Year 4

$1523.30

$40.09

$1956

$51.47

Grade 2 Year 7

$1762.70

$46.39

$2263.40

$59.56

Clinical nurse specialist

$1908.70

$50.23

$2450.70

$64.49

ANUM/AMUM Year 2

$2123.70

$55.89

$2726.70

$71.76

 

Negotiations began in October 2023 between ANMF (Vic Branch), the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association and the Department of Health. The current agreement expired on 30 April 2024.

ANMF members have been taking protected industrial action for 51 days. The action that began on Tuesday 7 May will now cease.

On 20 May members rejected an offer which included government wages policy of 12.55 per cent, cash bonuses and an additional gender equity uplift of between 5.5 and 13.3 per cent based on the expected outcome of ANMF’s Fair Work Commission aged care work value case. The offer was rejected due to a number of uncertainties.

ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said ‘Members asked us to go back to the negotiating table and come back with certainty over the offer we recommended on 20 May.

‘We have done that, and we’ve secured a significant gender equity wage increase for a nursing and midwifery workforce that is 89 per cent female.

‘There is still much work to do to acknowledge nurses and midwives work through the pandemic and address current workforce and staffing pressures so that nurses and midwives can start to love their work again.

‘The wages and new and improved allowances and penalties and terms and conditions are designed to retain our early career and experienced nurses and midwives, recruit new nurses and midwives and start to rebuild our health system,’ she said.   

The offer retains all of the new and improved allowances and penalties and improved terms and conditions in the earlier offer. Key improvements in addition to the wage increases include:    

  • a change of ward allowance to compensate nurses and midwives when they are moved from their base ward and encourage employers to stop using redeployment as a business-as-usual rostering practice
  • improved night shift penalties for permanent nurses and midwives
  • improved on-call and recall allowances
  • a 92% increase to the qualifications allowance by the end of the agreement
  • a right to disconnect clause – a new process for employers to follow to fill shifts so that nurses and midwives are not continually contacted to work shifts they are not seeking
  • improved access to flexible working arrangements recognising that nurses and midwives being available 24 hours seven days a week is a so-called ‘inherent requirement’ but not a reasonable business ground to refuse a request for a flexible working arrangement
  • the qualifying period for parental leave will reduce from six months to zero
  • interstate public sector nurses and midwives relocating to Victoria will have their service recognised for the purposes of personal leave and long service leave.

 

Background

Read the 15 March 2024 full Fair Work Commission decision of ANMF’s case [2024] FWCFB 150 via www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/pdf/2024fwcfb150.pdf

Read a list of 75 new and improved terms and conditions via https://anmfvic.asn.au/update24


About us:

The ANMF (Vic Branch) has more than 100,000 members – nurses, midwives and aged care personal care workers – across the Victorian health and aged care sectors.


Contact details:

Media contact: Robyn Asbury 0417 523 252 or rasbury@anmfvic.asn.au

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