Here's a snapshot of what's been going on in private health workplaces and how HACSU can help.
The North West Private Hospital closed its doors at the same time the North West Regional Hospital closed theirs in readiness for a deep clean, and this has now been completed and limited staff were allowed to re-enter the building to begin to mop up the after effects of the clean.
After a deep clean staff need to re-clean and wipe everything over so as there are no remnants of the chemicals used in the major clean up, and this is particularly important in areas like the kitchen where food is prepared and on maternity ward where babies reside.
As well as doing the extra cleaning duties, some staff are stocking up and making beds, preparing for when the hospital can re-open its doors fully.
Currently the only patients allowed in are those maternity patients that require an emergency birth due to complications, apart from that maternity patients and other patients are still being directed to Launceston.
We understand that North West Private Hospital cleaners are being directed to go across different areas within the facility, rather than each cleaner or cleaning group remaining in one designated area, and there are concerns that being directed to go around the whole facility may present an unnecessary WHS risk.
Everyone would obviously like to avoid having to go begin the whole process again due to contamination with everyone travelling through all areas of the hospital, so we've written to management about this issue and will update NWPH members when we hear back.
We know media attention has been understandably focused on the North West Regional Hospital lately, but we know members in private health work sites are doing it tough too, and HACSU is doing whatever we can to bring their issues to the forefront with the powers that be.
It can be challenging for organisers to meet up with members given all the different places they work in and how busy they all are, but we hope everyone is keeping well.
With everything that’s going on at the moment regarding COVID-19 making it almost impossible to see members in person, having a go-to person like a union delegate or an activist in the workplace helps us keep on top of what’s happening, especially now with the virus and its many issues.
Members are the union, and becoming a delegate or activist means a workplace is more involved,more connected, and makes it easier for us to be of help.
A delegate is nominated and elected by union members at a workplace to be their representative and go-to person if there are issues at work, and they're trained by HACSU.
An activist is someone who's on top of what’s going on, but without an official role, who HACSU can contact if we need information about what’s happening. An activist might also be the kind of person who makes calls to let us know what’s going on.
If anyone wants to put their name forward to be a delegate or activist, or wants more info, please contact us.
How are things since life got so complicated? With everything moving so quickly we’ve made sure to keep a steady source of up-to-date info available to members.
Information about the health sector is changing regularly and one way of keeping up with some of that information is to check out our HACSU website and Facebook page, as these are updated on a regular basis so members can keep in touch with what’s going on in their workplace or workplaces that provide a similar service.
Keep in touch by contacting HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or talking to the HACSU workplace organiser.
Please stay inside, stay safe and reach out if we can help with anything.
With this rapidly changing environment we’ve increased our working hours to ensure we’re available, and HACSUassist now operates from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday so members can better contact us regardless of how small they feel an issue might be. We thank all our members for their amazing work during these unprecedented times. Take care, look after each other and please follow the rules.