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Nurses' wages in Australia are set out predominately in the growing number of nursing industrial agreements reached between the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (1) and employers. The overall growth in agreements since 1996 reflects a move from a centralised industrial relations system to one which is decentralised and where agreements have progressively replaced awards as the principle vehicle for wage movements. Changes to the federal industrial relations laws proclaimed on 27 March 2006 (2) further decentralised the system and significantly reduced the role of awards in providing a safety net of wages and conditions of employment. However, new laws proclaimed during 2008 and 2009 (3) re-established the role of awards in providing a safety net for all new agreements.

The Nurses Award 2010 commenced on 1 January 2010, and together with the National Employment Standard forms the safety net of wages and conditions for all nurses employed in the national system except for nurses employed in primary and secondary schools. Further information about the Nurses Award 2010 can be found at pages 14 to 18.

Nursing employment conditions are in the main regulated by federal laws with the major exception being nurses employed in the public sectors in New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland, and some nurses employed in the private sector in Western Australia which are regulated by the relevant State industrial bodies.

Under the current industrial system it is expected that collective agreements will continue to be the primary mechanism for determining wages and conditions for nurses in both the public and private sectors and there will be a significant expansion of agreements to cover other areas of nursing employment. Ready access to reliable and accurate wages information is increasingly difficult in this environment.

Nurses and Midwives' Paycheck, a quarterly publication of nurses' wage rates, seeks to provide an analysis of nursing wage movements across a selection of key classification levels in the public hospital, private hospital and residential aged care sectors.

(1) The Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation is made up of the following state and territory branches: ANMF ACT, ANMF QLD (QNU), ANMF NSW (NSWNA), ANMF WA, ANMF VIC, ANMF SA, ANMF NT and ANMF TAS. Branch contact details can be found at page 43.

(2) The Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005 and the Workplace Relations Regulations 2006.

(3) The Workplace Relations Amendment (Transition to Forward with Fairness) Act 2008; Fair Work Act 2009; Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009.

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Title Annotation:Australian nurses' wages
Publication:Nurses' Paycheck
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jun 1, 2018
Previous Article:The ANMF.

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