Time for action to get a better deal from your employer

Protected Industrial Action (PIA) is an entirely legitimate strategy for workers to engage in to improve terms and conditions at work. PIA generally occurs when negotiations with management, such as around a proposed enterprise agreement, reach stalemate. For industrial action to be legally protected, a protected action ballot must be held.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) issues you with ballot papers, and to cast a valid vote you must carefully follow the instructions enclosed with the papers and return them by the date specified.

Proposed actions will be listed and you’ll be asked to vote on each item, and these actions will have been designed by your union delegates and members of your bargaining team to affect services and activities that won’t result in harm to clients or patients. We strongly encourage you to support your fellow workers in the struggle to achieve a better outcome in the EBA process, and taking protected industrial action is the logical next step in this process.

Any person who’s a financial HACSU member at the time the AEC asks for member details may vote. In order for protected industrial action to proceed, more than half of all HACSU members must vote for the proposed actions.

‍The AEC runs the ballot independent of management and the union and, just like in a state or federal election, your vote is kept completely confidential and the only info released is the numbers of votes for each of the proposed actions.

Only HACSU members are legally protected in a protected industrial action, and management is prohibited by law from taking adverse action against any staff member for participating in protected industrial action.

HACSU will notify management of members’ intention to take protected industrial action, you don’t need to tell them, and uur advice is you don’t speak individually with management about the industrial action, and that you refer any enquiries to your workplace HACSU delegate, your HACSU organiser or the HACSU office.

Management should deal directly with HACSU about industrial action matters, not with individual members. This also protects management, as any attempt to apply pressure to a worker due to union membership or lawful union activity carries the potential of significant financial penalty for the employer.

Management can’t sack you, cut your hours or replace you for participating in protected industrial action. You’re legally protected whether you’re casual, fixed-term or permanent. It’s illegal for your employer to threaten or disadvantage you in any way due to your participation in legally protected industrial action.

If you are given any hint or suggestion you might suffer punitive measures on the basis of your participation in proposed industrial action, contact HACSUassist immediately.

If you have a query or issue relating to a police check or registration to work with children, contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email [email protected].

Remember, HACSUassist offers support and guidance for HACSU members and all calls are confidential. Just call 1300 880 032