Wage case recognises historic undervalued work of aged care nurses

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has welcomed the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) further recognition that the work of aged care workers has been historically undervalued in its Stage 3 decision for the aged care industry work value case announced today. The FWC has concluded that, for ‘work value reasons’, award rates for direct care employees should be increased substantially beyond the 15% increase determined in Stage 1. Federal Secretary Annie Butler said: “ANMF members will be pleased with this outcome, with some set to receive up to 28% increases on award rates (inclusive of the interim increase). “While the FWC had deferred further pay rises for registered and enrolled nurses in the aged care sector for consideration in a separate application made by the ANMF for all employees covered by the Nurses Award, we are pleased that the FWC recognised that the ‘federal award system has failed to set minimum award rates of pay which properly recognise the addition to work value affected by the transformation of nursing into a profession’. “We are also very pleased that the FWC is proposing a benchmark which will seek to address this historical, gender based undervaluation. “ANMF witnesses including our members, union officials and academic experts, all gave evidence that the work performed in aged care has changed dramatically over the last two decades. Our evidence that the work has become more complex due to the higher needs and greater acuity of aged care residents and people receiving care at home was accepted. The FWC also agrees that the impact of COVID on delivery of care has brought about permanent change to the way work is performed. “We look forward to progressing our second Application so we can achieve the best outcomes for our members across the nursing workforce,” Ms Butler said. The ANMF, with over 322,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and carers in Australia. ANMF media release authorised by Annie Butler, ANMF Federal Secretary. 1/365 Queen St, Melbourne. 

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