Aged care workers 15% increase on Award: What does it mean?

Making aged care nursing ‘sexy’: Special interest group for gerontological nurses launched

The Fair Work Commission announced aged care workers can expect a 15% wage increase on award rates from 30 June 2023. But which aged care workers are covered by the decision and will the full 15% be passed on?

The ANMF have recently released member communication about what the 15% means and how it can potentially change your pay packet.

Further information below:

Aged Care Work Value Case- a big win to increase award wages – ANMF will be working to ensure the final outcome for all aged care workers is higher wages.

In November 2022, a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) resolved that direct care aged care workers deserved an increase to their award wage as their work had long been undervalued. The Full Bench interim decision was to increase award rates for direct care workers by 15%.

The Fair Work Commission decided on 21 February 2023 that minimum rates under the award, for many, but not all, aged care workers would increase by 15% on 30 June 2023.

Workers covered by the decision are:

  • AINs, ENs and RNs working in aged care, under the Nurses Award,
  • PCWs covered by the Aged Care Award
  • The most senior chef or cook covered by the Aged Care Award
  • Recreation and lifestyle officers covered by the Aged Care Award
  • Home care workers in aged care covered by the SCHADS Award.

This outcome represents a significant achievement to improving the wages of aged care workers, which have for too long been set at rates that do not reflect the true value of their work. However, much needs to be done to ensure all aged care workers receive full recognition for their complex and demanding work in aged care.

In the coming months, unions will continue to argue for increases to be extended to all aged care workers, such as gardeners, cleaners and administrative staff. In addition, we will argue that while 15% is a great start, the final outcome for all aged care workers must be higher.

ANMF is fighting for the full amount of the wage increase to go into the pockets of aged care workers, including workers covered by enterprise agreements who rely on the wage rates set in agreements rather than minimum award wages. We will advocate that workers on enterprise agreements whose wages are higher than the award must also receive a wage increase.

It is important to remember that award rates are the minimum safety net rates and no one can be paid less than this rate. If you are paid above award rates, your provider will still receive additional wage funding, and the ANMF believes that the providers must flow this onto workers, and not keep any additional funding.

We look forward to seeing increased wages benefiting members in the second half of the year- the ANMF will be monitoring the implementation process carefully to ensure no one misses out on this big pay rise!

Further updates to come.

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