AiNs The Big Winners From Aged Care Agreements

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RN Judith Nicholas (centre) wore her traditional nursing uniform to symbolise the importance of nurses in aged care

RN Judith Nicholas (centre) wore her traditional nursing uniform to symbolise the importance of nurses in aged care

More than 90 employers, covering 176 facilities in the not-for-profit aged care sector have signed up to a new template agreement that delivers an average 9.2% pay increase to nurses over three years. For some the pay increase will be as much as 12.38%.

More than 1400 NSWNA members will benefit from a new agreement with employers in the not-for-profit aged care sector. Over 92 per cent of members have voted in support of the agreement.

The three year agreement includes a 3 per cent pay increase in the first year (from 1 July 2011), 2.8 per cent in the second year and 3 per cent in its final year.  Wage increases are even higher for AiNs, with their wages to be at least 3.5 per cent above the Nurses’ Award minimum rate.

‘This is a big win for AiNs,’ said NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes.  ‘In the past AiN wages have been very close to the minimum wage. There is now a clear increase above the minimum wage. This is well-earned recognition for the valuable work that AiNs contribute to the aged care sector. ‘The wage increase, along with salary packaging, now makes the not-for-profit sector more attractive than other parts of the aged care sector.’

‘Some RN classifications are getting close to public sector rates. This will make the not-for-profit aged care sector a more appealing place to work for many nurses.’  The first pay increase will be backdated to the first pay period on or after 1 July 2011, and paid after the agreement is approved by Fair Work Australia.

The employers have agreed that, if the Productivity Commission Report results in more funding for aged care, discussions about further wage increases will be held.

What has been won

Wage increases

  • 3% first pay period on or after 1 July 2011
  • 2.8% first pay period on or after 1 July 2012
  • 3% first pay period on or after 1 July 2013

Other important conditions

  • existing conditions, including penalty rates and leave entitlements, are protected
  • overtime applies for part-timers and casuals after 10 hours
  • under-18 AiN rates removed
  • employer pays for cost of criminal checks
  • casuals can request permanent employment after six months
  • casual loading increases to 21.5% from?July 2011; 22.67% from July 2012; and 23.83% from July 2013.