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Public sector EBA update #21: Wage talks are progressing

Public sector EBA update #21: Wage talks are progressing

Status of negotiations

Discussions are continuing between the ANMF (Vic Branch) and senior representatives from the Allan Government and the Department of Health.

The talks are focused on two fronts:

  1. resolving the wages offer, and
  2. retaining the more than 60 improved and new terms and conditions (other than wages) contained in the 17 May proposal (the government offer) presented at the statewide members meeting on 20 May.

This means that only wages need be resolved to have a proposed agreement for members’ consideration at the next statewide meeting.

Drafting work on the replacement enterprise agreement also continues to ensure all the improvements (other than wages) are clearly included. This means the draft enterprise agreement will be ready for the employee ballot; a vote of all nurses and midwives employed in the public sector.


Critically, the only issue to resolve with government and the department is about providing certainty for all in relation to the wage outcome percentage.

Some elements of our wages claim are based on the aged care work value interim decision and the projected outcome of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) matter (as it relates to aged care nurses).

While a firm decision would be helpful, we continue to press the claim based on statements of the FWC in March 2024, and restated in the annual wage review decision of 3 June 2024.

Maintain stage 1 protected industrial action

Our ongoing discussions with the government continue to make progress because members are sustaining pressure with stage 1 protected industrial action.

ANMF Organisers and staff continue to visit workplaces to support members with the stage 1 action, respond to queries, discuss the latest developments and strategy, and to distribute ANMF campaign merchandise.

Job Reps and members are initiating and organising mass ‘speak out’ actions as part of the protected industrial action.

This is an ‘old school’ campaign action but can cut through in an increasingly digital world because people do still listen to radio and they do still read letters to the editor – particularly the decision makers. Politicians and their advisors do take notice of those who contact their offices, particularly when you don’t use a pro forma or template letter or a script.

Members are encouraged to use the ‘nurses and midwives speak out’ flyer individually or as a group via

Think about your message to the community and government before picking up the phone or hitting the keyboard. Your experience, your story, your words matter.

Speaking out is only one action. Members are encouraged to maintain all of the stage 1 protected industrial actions. See the whole list via

We continue to encourage members to report intimidation, harassment or threats for participation in protected industrial action via

Industrial action and the start of stage 2 of the Health System Response

Members will be aware that the Department of Health has notified employers of the commencement of Stage 2 of the Health System Response (HSR) due to high demand across the public health sector.

This is due to the increased number of patients and staff with COVID-19, flu and winter viruses. Stage 2 contemplates the possible introduction of cross-care models, redeployment and more telehealth appointments for example.

The continuing stage 1 protected industrial action provides members with an entitlement to refuse redeployment and take other action, subject to serious patient safety concerns.  Should members be uncertain that they may not be able to refuse redeployment due to a patient safety concern, they should escalate their concern to their Job Rep or ANMF Organiser.

What about stage 2 protected industrial action?

Talks between the ANMF, the government and the department are progressing and stage 1 industrial action is applying the required pressure.

The escalation of industrial action remains an option for us should these discussions fail to generate the outcome that members deserve.

ANMF has extended members’ legal right to take any action that is yet to commence, to the end of June (action can continue past the end of June, but only action that commenced before the ends of June).

The next statewide meeting

We appreciate all of the constructive feedback members have provided on the last statewide meeting. We have taken this on board in relation to the next statewide members meeting that will consider a future offer from the Allan Government.

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