ANMF launches case to increase aged care pay by 25%
This week, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), made an application to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) seeking a 25% increase to wages under the Nurses Award for Assistants in Nursing, ENs and RNs working in residential and home based aged care. The application also seeks variation to the Aged Care Award asking for the same 25% to be applied to the wages of Personal Care Workers (PCWs).
The ANMF has made this application because the work of staff delivering aged care has long been undervalued. The award rates of pay do not adequately reflect the skill, responsibility and complexity of the work required to deliver safe and quality care to older people, whether in residential aged care settings or in their own homes.
This undervaluation was recognised in the Final Report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler says the application was “the first step to improving wages for all our members”.
“We look forward to progress[ing] this very important application to ensure nurses and care workers in aged care receive the recognition they deserve,” she said.
What the changes could mean for aged care workers
Under both awards, PCWs and AINs are paid almost identical rates. Currently a PCW or AIN with a Certificate III qualification receives $877 per week. The ANMF application asks that this be increased to $1097 a week or $28.86 an hour. The application also seeks to recognise that an entry level PCW or AIN gains experience rapidly on the job and should progress to the next pay point after 6 months, rather than the current 12 months.
The hourly rate for an Enrolled Nurse at the top of the scale would increase from $24.73 an hour to $30.93. For a Registered Nurse Level 1, pay point 8, the base rate would go from $30.23 to $37.80 an hour.
Nurses and aged care workers covered by an enterprise agreement cannot be paid less than the award rate. Since enterprise agreements must result in you being better off under your award, success in this application will result in better pay for all aged care nurses and carers, and would benefit all ANMF members.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association, as the state branch of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, is proud to be part of this case to improve the pay of aged care workers. To support this work, join the Association today.