Private health newsletter

Posted on
May 3, 2021
Health Services Industry

Your sector update.

What happens when your agreement expires 

The Fair Work Act allows for an enterprise agreement to have a maximum life of 4 years, but it doesn’t get thrown out like a carton of milk after the expiry date, it’s more like a bottle of beer with a best-before date - it’s still okay and drinkable even if eventually stale.

An expired agreement remains, and you’ll keep working under its terms and conditions until a new one is put in place, so there’s no major immediate problem when it expires. Sometimes wages go up automatically with the Fair Work minimum pay rises in July each year and we have some of these in long-expired agreements.

Your enterprise agreement is the document that sets out your wages and conditions and is something you and your employer must adhere to.

When it comes to bargaining for a new agreement, some employers try to take away some terms and conditions you had in the previous document, generally to save money. This can affect current staff or take effect as a set of worsened conditions for new staff only.

That’s why it’s important to have HACSU help negotiate with your employer to keep what’s good in your current agreement and make things better for you and your workmates.

If you ever want to sit at the table alongside HACSU when it’s time to bargain, please let us know, because it’s your workplace and working life that we’re trying to make better through the process.   

DSPL, it’ll be here before you know it! 

The Diagnostic Services and Consultant Pathology Services Enterprise Agreement expires on 1 September this year and the last pay rise under this agreement should have been processed. This means we’ll soon be sending out surveys, popping out to DSPL’s worksite and holding member meetings to talk about what workers want in their log of claims.

Your log of claims is your wish list of things you’d like added or removed from your current agreement to make your worksite a better place, and this includes thinking about what sort of wage offer you consider fair.

If you work for DSPL, keep an eye out for our updates about enterprise bargaining agreement(EBA) activity and start to think about what you want on your wish list. If you’d like to be on the bargaining team when the time comes, then let your organiser know.


Calvary Nurses Agreement 

Calvary has put the agreement to a ballot so it’s now up to staff to vote on this agreement.

The agreement combines two separate EBAs into a single state-wide agreement with some minor variations to terms and conditions, essentially aligning these agreements. There’s an 8% pay rise to be fully paid by July 2021, including back pay to 2019.


Healthscope Nurses Agreement 

Progress has been terribly slow, and Healthscope cancelled the last bargaining meeting so they could ‘talk to staff’ rather than unions.  

They think we’re making things up, and that nurses’ workload concerns aren’t real, but don’t be fooled. We’re fighting with nurses to get improved staffing levels and reasonable workloads. We are standing up for staff and patient safety. This is as clear as night follows day.  

We firmly believe Healthscope can make commitments to resolve staffing issues up front without the need for a consultative process after the EBA comes in.


Hobart Pathology and chemicals 

Employees can sometimes be exposed to the dangers of hazardous chemicals and, while this maybe necessary, you follow guidelines and procedures and have the appropriate PPE.

Formaldehyde and Xylene are two chemicals used by Hobart Pathology that are of concern.

When staff raised concerns about these chemicals at several Hobart Pathology sites, the employer said the current fume extraction system was sufficient and Xylene isn’t hazardous. However, SafeWork NSW has a Xylene fact sheet that definitely doesn’t list it as harmless, and local health and safety representative (HSR) has already noticed some issues about these chemicals. We’ll seek solutions once we hear more from the HSR, and we’ll keep you up to date.

If hazardous chemicals are causing concern in your workplace, please let HACSU know so we can help find a solution to potentially dangerous practices.  

Calvary non-nursing workplace consultative committees 

Calvary’s workplace agreement allows for workload consultative committee (WCC) meetings to be held every three months in paid time. Both the clinical and non-clinical workload management consultative committees are up and running now. If you work for Calvary and have any clinical or non-clinical issues, please let us know so we can raise them on your behalf. Remember, if it’s not raised there’s a fair chance it’ll never be addressed. Also please contact us if you want to participate on one of these committees.

If you want to know whether your workplace has a WCC, you can give us a call to find out. 


Important workplace health and safety rep questions 

•  Do you know who your Health and Safety Representative (HSR) is?

•  Has your worksite got one?

•  Is it the boss or HR advisor? Is this right?

•  Is your organisation large enough for multiple workgroups because front line workers and admin staff are doing different roles in very different work environments?

•  Have the HSRs been formally trained, and can they exercise powers under the WHS Act? 

If you’re uncertain about who your HSR is or any of these questions, please let your HACSU organiser know because it’s possible your worksite doesn’t have one. Under the Act you’re entitled to have HSRs representing workers for work health and safety matters and inquiring into anything that appears to be a risk to the workers’ health and safety.   

Inform is your magazine 

Inform is HACSU’s official magazine, and the latest issue contains hundreds of member and event photos, editorials, useful information, campaign news, staff profiles and member benefits.    

Meet some of your delegates and get info about unfair dismissals, change proposals, long service and annual leave and workplace health & safety. Find out why social issues really are union issues. Check out some HACSU holiday homes and much more…    

Click here to read it now!  

HACSU has you covered.

If you need anymore information, just give us a call on 1300 880 032 or reply to this email.

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email or complete our online contact form

Health Services Industry