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  • Nurses take pay battle to Fair Work Commission

    Author: AAP

Nurses are appealing to the industrial umpire for a 35 per cent pay increase and say they have long been undervalued because most are women.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Foundation (ANMF) filed a claim with the Fair Work Commission seeking the award wage be raised by up to 35 per cent for frontline nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing.

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While these workers are paid by state and territory governments, ANMF federal secretary Annie Butler said a successful application would benefit all covered by the national award.

She said there had been a gender-based undervaluation of the work.

"Nurses and midwives make up over 50 per cent of Australia's registered health professionals and are, without exaggeration, the backbone of our health and aged care systems," she said.

The nature of the work and training had become more complex due to Australians living longer and having greater levels of chronic disease, Ms Butler said.

Industrial Relations Minister Tony Burke has been contacted for comment.

The nurses and midwives may be encouraged by a successful claim last year.

The industrial umpire awarded an interim 15 per cent pay rise to aged care workers. The umpire said this was plainly justified by work value reasons.

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