Victorian nurses to decide on massive 28.4 per cent wage boost after industrial action shut down hospital beds, surgeries

Thousands of Victorian nurses could score a massive wage boost of almost 30 per cent under a new agreement with the State Government - just a month after industrial action shut down hospital beds and planned surgeries.

The Victorian branch of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has called a statewide meeting of members to consider the Allan Government’s offer of a 28.4 per cent compounded wage increase by the end of the fourth year.

It follows the union locking horns with the government and state Department of Health - leading to 48 days of protected industrial action in early May.

ANMF members will meet on Wednesday and at eight satellite venues in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Mildura, Shepparton, Traralgon, Wangaratta and Warrnambool to decide on the offer.

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Victorian Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas meeting staff at Royal Melbourne Hospital. Thousands of nurses could score a wage boost of almost 30 per cent under a new deal brokered between the union and the State Government. NewsWire / David Geraghty Credit: News Corp Australia

Union delegates initially rejected an offer from the government which included a wages policy of 12 per cent.

That was in addition to cash bonuses and an additional gender equity uplift of between 5.5 and 13.3 per cent, due to “uncertainties” in the plans.

In early May, ANMF members voted to commence 48 hours of industrial action - resulting in one in four hospital beds being shut down.

It also resulted in multiple planned surgeries being cancelled while aged care assessment nurses were granted the right to refuse one in three public referrals.

ANMF Victoria branch secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said nurses and midwives were looking for an offer which respects their work.

She said it should “reward the work they have done through the pandemic”.

“We believe this offer protects our current career structure and will significantly help to retain and recruit a permanent nursing and midwifery workforce and rebuild our health system,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

business, news, australia, finance, lifestyle, fitness, health & wellbeing, money, personal finance, politics, state politics, tas news, vic news, victorian nurses to decide on massive 28.4 per cent wage boost after industrial action shut down hospital beds, surgeries

Nurses across the state voted on industrial action in May, leading to surgeries being cancelled and hospital beds shut down. Supplied / Channel 9 Credit: Channel 9

In a statement, the ANMF said: “The offer to be considered on Wednesday realises the gender equity increase the Fair Work Commission expert panel has forecast in ANMF’s aged care work value case, provides dates for all increases and restores relativities between all classifications by the end of the agreement.”

The move follows developer Villawood Properties announcing it was slashing the cost of land packages and combined house and land packages for Victoria’s essential workers - including nurses, teachers, emergency service staff, personal carers.

Villawood offered a $35,000 discount on blocks of land in their estate as part of this bonus, and to celebrate their 35th anniversary.

“We understand the incredible commitment and dedication it takes to work in the care industry, and we want to make homeownership more accessible for those who have given so much to their communities,” the company said in their promotion.

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