The Compact delivers significant increases for workers, remembering that the $1.2 billion over four years spread over almost 200,000 residential aged care workers and 100,000 home and community care workers can never do more than begin to address the problem of low wages. Still, by the end of the Compact in 2016 aged care workers and nursing staff will have received a significant boost to wages of about:
• $29 per week or $1510 a year for personal care workers/AINs
• $35 per week or $1820 a year for enrolled nurses, and
• $46 a week or $2390 a year for registered nurses
These figures are based on average national enterprise agreement rates across the three classifications of $762, $908 and $1203 per week respectively. These higher rates will flow to other allowances and shift and weekend penalties.
The Compact won’t solve the current attraction and retention issues in the industry, especially for Registered and senior Enrolled Nurses – the gap between the new rates and public/private sector acute hospital rates of around $200-$300 per week is just too great. Read the full details on the aged care Compact.