In The Media
Aged care providers ‘refusing’ to pass on full 15pc wage rise27 February 2023
Unions have opened up a new front in the fight for aged care pay, insisting aged care providers pass on the Fair Work Commission’s full 15 per cent pay rise to workers who are on enterprise agreements.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation has launched disputes with major aged care providers and called on the Albanese government to mandate they pass on all funding as higher wages after members reported some were rushing to lock in workplace agreements with increases less than half the FWC decision.
The Fair Work Commission this month awarded 300,000 care workers an interim 15 per cent pay rise from June 30 based on their increased work value and qualifications.
The pay rise is seen as essential to retention and attraction of staff in the sector, but the orders only apply to workers on the award minimum, not on enterprise agreements.
ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler accused employers of “gaming” the new government funding model and “trying to short-change underpaid nurses and care workers”.
“There needs to be rules or triggers imposed by the government that require aged care providers to pass the additional funding on to higher wages. Many employers on the ground are saying that unless they are legally required to pass the money on, they will simply use their discretion about how they spend it,” she said.
“It must be used for the purpose it is provided – higher wages. Otherwise, the aged care staffing crisis will not be addressed and pay rates won’t increase sufficiently to enable the attraction and retention of nursing and care staff.”
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