Late on Friday 4 November, a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission published a decision in the aged care work value matter.
The 337-page decision can be accessed via PDF but the summary is that the Commission has awarded an interim increase of 15 per cent on award rates for all direct care workers under the Nurses Award, Aged Care Award and SCHADS Award.
An interim increase leaves open the possibility for further increases, which ANMF welcomes. Our application to the Commission asked for a 25 percent increase.
‘Whilst the ANMF had sought a 25 per cent 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,’ ANMF Assistant Federal Secretary, Lori-Anne Sharp, said.
Will my pay go up? Awards vs enterprise agreements
The interim increase, which the Commission ruled was ‘plainly justified’ on work value grounds, will apply to workers on awards who directly care for people in residential aged care facilities.
It is important to understand that those members who are on enterprise agreements will not get the raise as they are already being paid above the award rate. Most Victorian ANMF members will be on enterprise agreements.
For those on awards, your new minimum hourly rate will become:
- Personal Care Worker Grade 1 – $27.11 ph
- Personal Care Worker Grade 2 – $28.14 ph (holds a relevant Certificate 3 qualification or possesses equivalent knowledge and skills)
- Enrolled Nurse (with 4 years experience) – $30.51 ph
- Registered Nurse Grade 2 with 5 years experience – $36.34 ph
- Nurse Unit Manager or similar – $43.77 ph
What happens next?
The Commission will hold a Stage 2 hearing and a further decision to decide on the timing of the interim increase – given this, it is probable that the changes won’t occur until 2023.
A further stage (stage 3) will look at classification structures and any further wage increase justified on work value reasons for direct care workers.