Practice nurse pay claim may be backwards step

A PUSH by the Victorian branch of the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) to boost the pay packets of practice nurses by up to 20% could deter GPs from hiring them, practice management experts warn.

The Victorian ANF is believed to be pushing an enterprise agreement that calls for the 20% pay rise to take place over the next 3.5 years, along with new allowances and increased employer superannuation contributions.

It is believe the union has logged claims with more than 1000 family practices in that state. The union has also written to practice nurses themselves, urging them to send the ANF copies of their existing contracts for their reference.

But AMA Victoria said such an agreement would drive up the cost of employing practice nurses and undermine the flexible employment arrangements that attracted practice nurses in the first place.

AMA Victoria’s acting CEO Geoff O’Kearney said the move came at a bad time for general