You may be aware that the union peak body, the ACTU, is regularly updating workers on what actions the broader union movement is taking to ensure jobs are protected. This may or may not directly affect you, but you may know someone, including direct family members, who are affected by shutdowns across some industries. The ACTU COVID-19 advice, updated regularly, can be found here: https://www.actu.org.au/coronavirus
Robbie Moore and I have and will continue to participate in stakeholder teleconferences with Tasmania's Health Minister Sarah Courtney every Sunday. At these meetings we continue to raise workers’ rights issues across our industry areas. This week we discussed issues associated with personal protective equipment availability, how interstate restrictions on travel will affect workers who fly in and out of the state as well as a raft of other safety and employment matters. The Minister and the Director of Public Health also provide briefings to us on the actions taken by government to curb the virus.
All Tasmanian unions are also engaging with the state government on issues associated with access to pandemic leave, and we remain concerned about the government’s failure to address issues for casual employees and will have more to say about this over coming days.
At a national level, your union is in direct contact with Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter. We met with him over the last week and he's asked us to advise him on issues specifically related to the health workforce, including how you can be supported now and as things progress. We're keen to hear from you so we can raise issues directly from workers when we next meet.
As an employer we're also considering how we support our staff through this time. As much as possible, how we do business will remain unchanged.
Keep an eye out for updates. We will keep in touch with you and if you need advice you can continue to contact us on 1300 880 032.
Finally, on behalf of your HACSU Committee of Management, our dedicated staff and the elected officials, Robbie and I thank you all for your commitment to the work you do right across our industry areas. We know it’s tough at the moment and it’s likely to get tougher.
Please take care of yourself and your colleagues. As a union, it’s what we do - stick together.