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Public sector EBA update #18: members reject Allan Government in-principle agreement

Public sector EBA update #18: members reject Allan Government in-principle agreement

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victoria Branch) members have rejected the in-principle agreement reached with the Allan Government.

The agreement guaranteed a minimum wage and cash benefit uplift of six per cent in the first three months of the first year. With government wages policy and a further cash payment in the second year, plus wages policy in the third and fourth year.

It also provided for a new wage percentage outcome subject to Fair Work Commission (FWC) Justice Adam Hatcher and his expert panel’s decision on the aged care work value case for Victorian nurses – expected to be between 5.5 percent to 13 percent.

This would mean wage increases between 18 and 23 per cent over the life of the four-year proposed agreement.

The offer also included a range of significantly improved and new allowances and penalties designed to retain and grow a permanent nursing and midwifery workforce.

The in-principle agreement was complicated by a component of the wage offer that relies on the outcome of the FWC aged care work value case, which has already determined gender undervaluation in nurses’ award rates.

FWC President Justice Hatcher’s determination is imminent and will increase enrolled nurses’, registered nurses’, and by implication midwives’, wages between 5.5 and 13 per cent.

ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitpatrick said: ‘There was significant support for the majority of the improvements we’ve negotiated but the members want their pay rates over the life of the agreement in black and white.

‘They also want the Allan Government’s commitment to retain relativities of the FWC case outcome across the classifications in the nurses and midwives enterprise agreement.

‘The union will take the members’ message back to government and require further negotiations.’

Stage 1 industrial action continues. Stage 2 is currently suspended, but this may change.

ANMF members require certainty about the FWC aged care work value case and the State Government’s response to its implementation across the classification in the enterprise agreement.

ANMF has put calls forward to government this evening. ANMF will have a further update for members as soon as possible.