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Ask Maddy: Progressing through ‘annual increments’

Ask Maddy: Progressing through ‘annual increments’

Madeleine Harradence, Assistant Secretary of ANMF (Vic Branch)

One of the most common ANMF member questions that we respond to are about recognition of previous experience. For bedside nurses and midwives, most EBAs have multiple increments, or pay points, based on experience.

Answering that question is not always simple.

In almost all EBAs, the starting point is the date of your first shift following registration. This becomes your ‘anniversary date’ and remains the same even when you change employers.

On each anniversary date, if you meet the threshold, then you proceed to the next available increment (if any). The threshold in an anniversary year is an average of three shifts or more per week or 48 hours per fortnight (whichever is the lesser). You will need to complete an additional year to advance if you haven’t met the threshold in that year.

The following is an example for someone who commenced nursing on 14 January 2019. The same rules apply to enrolled nurses. for a midwife who was already a registered nurse, the anniversary date is the first shift following registration as a registered nurse.

Anniversary date Pay Code Grade Threshold
14/1/2019 YP 2 Grade 2 Year 1
14/1/2020 YP 3 Grade 2 Year 2 worked 72 hours a fortnight
14/1/2021 YP 4 Grade 2 Year 3 worked 64 hours a fortnight
14/1/2022 YP 4 Grade 2 Year 3 Parental Leave taken, threshold not met, averaged 14 hours (does not progress)
14/1/2023 YP 5 Grade 2 Year 4 worked 64 hours a fortnight

The same example above applies to a midwife who is not also a registered nurse.

What if qualified as a nurse overseas?

This depends on whether your overseas qualification was accepted by AHPRA as substantially equivalent to the applicable Australian qualification. If it was, your previous experience counts as experience under most EBAs. If you were required by AHPRA to undertake a bridging program, or another course entitling you to registration in Australia, then your previous experience does not apply.

I have two jobs. Does my experience from both count?

Under almost all EBAs, yes. However, you need to provide evidence of hours worked at each employer, to your other employer.

I was an enrolled nurse before becoming a registered nurse – what applies?

Your experience as an EN does not count toward experience as an RN. However, if you were an EN immediately before commencing as an RN, in the public sector EBA you commence at the salary rate immediately above your EN salary, typically Grade 2 Year 2.

What if I have a five-year absence from nursing or midwifery?

This will generally require you to undertake a re-entry program. Your previous experience counts once you have completed the re-entry program.