Message from Annie Butler, ANMF Federal Secretary

After the Fair Work Commission (FWC) handed down its decision for the final stage of the Aged Care Work Value Case (Stage 3), where it has determined that direct care aged care workers, for work value reasons, should receive award rates substantially beyond the 15% increase determined in Stage 1. Personal care workers/assistants in nursing will receive further increases on award rates, with some receiving up to 28% increases on award rates.

While the FWC has deferred its decision on appropriate rate increases for registered and enrolled nurses working in aged care (this is because the ANMF has a second work value application before the FWC for the entire Nurses Award) to consider all employees covered by the Nurses Award at the same time, the FWC has indicated that it will seek to address historical gender-based undervaluation of nursing and midwifery work.

The FWC concluded that the federal award system had failed to set minimum award rates of pay which properly recognised the addition to work value affected by the transformation of nursing into a profession and proposed a benchmark to be considered in the second application.

These successful outcomes are very much due to the hard work of ANMF members but have also now become more achievable because of the recent series of changes to the Fair Work Act. The most recent amendment, part 2 of the Closing the Loopholes Bill, officially titled Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No. 2) Bill 2023, passed through Parliament in February.

This amendment equips the Fair Work Commission (FWC) with tools to champion gender equality and job security. Notably, it empowers the Commission to issue equal remuneration orders, either independently or upon application, to rectify pay disparities for work of equal or comparable value.

In addition to the work value cases, a targeted review of Modern Awards, which is also before the Commission, will see further developments in guaranteeing job security and gender equity.

The implications of this review will be significant for many ANMF members, as it seeks to mandate the elimination of gender-based undervaluation of work and the provision of workplace conditions facilitating women's full economic participation.

This requirement will include provisions ensuring parity between part-time and full-time work, creating a better balance between work and caring responsibilities.

The ANMF, alongside the ACTU and other unions, has been pivotal in the changes made to the Fair Work Act.

The results of these endeavours join a long list of accomplishments made by the ANMF over the decades.  

This year we mark the 100 year anniversary of the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation. We plan to hold celebrations and reflect on ANMF’s achievements in the ANMJ, ANMJ online and events.

As we celebrate 100 years since the formation of the ANMF, we reflect on the remarkable strides made for nurses, midwives, and carers by the union, contributing significantly to the improvement of Australia's healthcare system.

Without question, the commendable work of our predecessors over the past decades has underpinned the work the ANMF is achieving today.

It’s clear we remain at the forefront, advocating for professional conditions that benefit those who play a crucial role in the healthcare of all Australians.

Share this story
Annie Butler

Annie Butler Federal Secretary

View Link