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Public sector agreement: improvements to your pay and conditions

Public sector agreement: improvements to your pay and conditions

Paul Gilbert

For all members employed in public health services under the Nurses and Midwives (Victorian Public Sector) (Single Interest Employers) Enterprise Agreement 2020-2024 there are a number of pieces of important work underway, and improvements that are yet to come into force.

Advanced practice career structure

Clause 14.9 of the EBA, Development and finalisation of Classification descriptors, requires the parties to

  • finalise the three-level nurse/midwife unit manager classification descriptors; and
  • develop and finalise classification descriptors for the CAPR classification stream (liaison, clinical coordinators and advanced practice, and associated translation arrangements); and
  • review the CNC descriptors.

To support this, the Department of Health committed to engaging consultant/s to undertake the classification development work and identify potential options for resolution. Funding has been secured for the consultancy work, and expressions of interest have been sent out to prospective consultancies.

This process requires ANMF (Vic Branch) to determine what we want in the advanced practice space, and to that end ANMF Professional Officer Libby Muir and ANMF Assistant Secretary Paul Gilbert have developed a submission for provision to the consultants, the Victorian Hospitals Industrial Association (VHIA) and the department.

The ANMF submission draws from previous work undertaken through the statewide classification committee (particularly in relation to liaison nurses and midwives, and clinical coordinator nurses and midwives), and the advanced practice framework undertaken by the executive directors of nursing (which itself draws heavily from ANMF-funded research).

To address the absence in the EBA of descriptors for the three levels of nurse/midwife unit manager, we drew upon the data provided to ANMF and VHIA from the 2019 implementation of the three-level structure, which required unit managers to complete comprehensive assessments of their role. We have aimed to create industrially sensible descriptors to differentiate between the levels based on this data.

The clinical nurse/midwife consultant structure has presented numerous challenges as to exactly who it applies to, and what grade applies to what level of consultancy. The review is aimed
at addressing these challenges.

Long service leave

While this doesn’t directly impact on members, ANMF and VHIA have made an application to the Victorian Magistrates Court to seek a declaration that the EBA’s long-service leave clause is compliant with, or more favorable than, the State Act.

The key question we need determined is whether long-service leave being portable between employers is more favorable than having it paid out in lieu of termination as the Act requires.

From 1 July 2023, the threshold level of service needed to have a long-service leave entitlement will reduce from eight years to seven years.

Sunday night-shift allowance

As of 1 December 2022, the night-shift allowance was lifted to $89.90 per shift. As a trial commencing 1 July 2023, full-time or part-time employees (including fixed term) finishing on a Monday after commencing duty on a Sunday will be paid an enhanced Sunday night-shift allowance of $154.63 per Sunday night shift.

As a trial commencing 1 July 2023 … the Sunday night-shift allowance will be $154.63.

ANMF advocated that the enhanced Sunday night shift would make it much easier for health services to secure staff for what is, anecdotally, the most difficult shift of the week to fill, as it impacts on member’s weekends but weekend penalties only apply for the start of the shift.

While it is described as a trial, the intention is that we will work with the Department of Health and the VHIA to collect and share data on unscheduled absences on weekends and nights between to show its effectiveness.

Its continuation beyond the ‘trial’ will be a matter for bargaining in the next EBA, negotiations for which will commence late this year.

December wage increase: check your pay slips

Hourly rates and allowances increased by three per cent from the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 December 2022.

This means, for a CNS or CMS, for example, the hourly rate rose from $48.76 to $50.23, and afternoon shifts for all public sector members rose from $31.50 to $32.50 per shift.