Since we last wrote in detail about private aged care wages (Aged care wages – a brief history – On the Record (anmfvic.asn.au)) there have been some significant events that should have seen almost all members in private aged care receive wage increases during July 2023.
Most Victorian ANMF members, whether they be Registered Nurses, Enrolled Nurses or Personal Care staff, are covered by an EBA with higher rates than those in the Nurses Award or Aged Care Award.
With the Aged Care Work Value Case, two things are happening:
- The Award rates are starting to catch up to EBA rates, and in the case of personal care workers exceed EBA rates. If the Award rate exceeds the EBA rate, then by law employers must pay (at least) the Award rate.
- Employers in private aged care have received funding for the 15 per cent Award rate increase, but in most cases are already paying close to that or above, and should be passing on that equivalent funding on top of your current hourly rate of pay (if paid above the Award e.g under an enterprise agreement).
The Department of Health has produced Wages Guidance for the aged care sector that explains how the Commonwealth Government expects employers to pass on the aged care work value funding in the form of higher wages. They are expected to pass on all of the funding in line with the schedule to that Guidance. The Guidance can be found at : health.gov.au/resources/publications/aged-care-worker-wages-guidance-document.
For example, the 15 per cent Award increase for a Cert III personal carer under Level 4 of the Aged care Award is $3.71 per hour or $141.10 a week. The $3.71 should be added to your current hourly rate. If, once that occurs, your rate is still below the new 1 July Award rate of $30.11, then your employer must pay you at least the Award rate.
Again, the Award rate at Level 3 Pay Point 4 of the Nurses Award 2020 – the equivalent of an After Hours Coordinator at Grade 5, 51-200 beds or a Clinical Care Coordinator, has increased by $5.70 or $216.60 per week. The amount of $5.70 should be added to your current hourly rate. So if you are already at $50 an hour then the new rate will be $55.70. The equivalent Award rate is $46.28 (see below). If, after paying the $5.70, your rate was still below that Award rate, they would need to bring you up to at least the Award rate.
Both the Nurses Award and the Aged Care Award now have two sets of pay rates, with a new definition added of “aged care employee”:
[Definition of aged care employee inserted by PR751294 ppc 30Jun23]
aged care employee means an employee engaged in the provision of:
- services for aged persons in a hostel, nursing home, aged care independent living units, aged care serviced apartments, garden settlement, retirement village or any other residential accommodation facility; or
- services for an aged person in a private residence.
The Interim decision in the Fair Work Commission “Work Value” case was a 15 per cent increase on Award rates of pay, effective 30 June 2023. This was followed by a “National Wage Case” decision of 5.75 per cent applying to all awards effective the first full pay after 1 July 2023. That means that Award rates have increased by 21.6125 per cent almost overnight.
The salaries in the Award are different for an “aged care employee” vs any other role covered by the Award/s.
Example minimum Award hourly rates
- Cert 3 PCW/AIN $30.11ph (Level 4 Aged Care Award 2010)
- Cert IV PCW/AIN $31.13 ph (Level 5 Aged Care Award 2010)
- EN with 4 years experience $32.26 ph (EN PP5 of Nurses Award 2020
- RN Clinical Care Coordinator or After-Hours Coordinator $46.28 ph (RN level 3 Pay Point 4 of Nurses Award 2020)
You can find the Aged Care Award and Nurses Awards at fwc.gov.au/agreements-awards/awards/find-award.
ANMF has been in discussions with your employer about passing on both the Award wage increase (if higher than your old rate of pay) and ensuring the Commonwealth Government funding is channelled into much-needed wage increases for nursing and care staff.
As of 19 July 2023, the only network employers (two or more facilities) who have not engaged with ANMF about these increases are:
- Signature Care
- Autumn Care
- Luson Health
- Trinity Care
- Australian Aged Care (Banfields and Kew Gardens)
This means that out of about 480 aged care facilities belonging to a network, we know the proposed wages of about 460 and agree with all but a few of those (such as Menarock with respect to nurses).
However out of about 130 stand-alone facilities we have agreement with about 65 providers, but there are about 65 where we have had no contact or have not been provided with wages sheets.
Members employed in these workplaces are encouraged to contact ANMF via anmfvic.asn.au/memberassistance to confirm that the wage increases are being paid to you.