The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) says the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) 15% interim pay increase in minimum wages for underpaid aged care nurses and care workers recognises the undervaluation of employees in aged care – but more needs to be done to retain and recruit staff to the under-resourced sector.
In handing down its interim decision, the FWC deemed the pay rise was ‘plainly justified by work value reasons’ and applies to Registered Nurses (RN), Enrolled Nurses (EN), AINs (Assistants in Nursing) and Personal care Workers (PCW) working in aged care under the Nurses Award, Aged Care Award and SCHADS Award.
“We welcome this interim decision of a 15% increase to aged care workers under the award system. The ANMF and its members will continue to fight to lift wages further in the aged care sector. Aged care workers are predominately female and some of the lowest-paid workers in the country. The tide is turning but there is still much work to be done,” Ms Sharp said today.
“The ANMF and its members have been fighting long and hard to improve pay and conditions in a severely undervalued industry.
“Whilst the ANMF had sought a 25% increase to minimum rates across the board for all relevant aged care employees, this interim pay increase now paves the way for us to keep advocating to get the very best wages aged care workers deserve.
“The ANMF acknowledges its many members who provided witness statements and gave evidence in support of the FWC case. We could not have achieved this outcome without the powerful and determined voices of ANMF members,” Ms Sharp added.
The ANMF is pleased that the Full Bench of the FWC made it clear that the 15% increase does not necessarily exhaust the extent of the increase justified by work value reasons in respect of direct care aged care employees. Whether any further increase is justified will be the subject of submissions in Stage 3 of these proceedings.
The ANMF, with over 322,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and carers in Australia.