Private health newsletter

Posted on
July 13, 2020
Health Services Industry

Your sector update.

It pays to be union 

Casual award-based employees in aged care and social &community services including disability will be paid the 25% casual loading on top of their penalty rates for working Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from July 1, 2020.

This is happening because HACSU and other unions have pushed for and won this change, and the main reason we achieve great outcomes like this is because these sectors are highly unionised, but some workers reading that may not even get penalty rates for working Saturdays.

Here are some important questions that workers should ask themselves:  

•  Are your working conditions good?

•  Are you on an agreement or an award?

•  Is your employer fair and equitable?

•  Do you always receive all your entitlements?

•  Will asking for entitlements make your employment insecure?

•  Have you ever been told ‘you’re lucky to have a job’ as a reason why something isn’t paid?

Anyone who feels there’s an imbalance going on that the want to change should contact us so we can chat about how to fix things by giving HACSU members a stronger voice at work.

For more info please contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or   


No membership dues increase for this financial year 

HACSU committee of management met recently and one issue discussed was the current economic situation and how it’s affected our members. 

COVID has seen members lose their jobs or have a reduction in hours and many members’ partners or families have lost income or their business, along with a myriad of other burdens, so asking them to find that little bit extra doesn’t sit well with us.

We’ve also always strived to offer other benefits that help members easily save dollars on retail purchases, and we always will.

In these current times your union membership is more important than ever, so with this in mind there’ll be no increase in union dues for this financial year.  


Calvary Health Care leave & rosters 

If anyone working at Calvary Health Care has been told they can’t take carers leave to look after a child or family member it isn’t true –by definition ‘carers leave’ exists so a worker can have time off to care for a loved one, and nowhere in the staff agreement does it say members aren't entitled to carers leave for their children, in fact, Clause 26 Personal/Carers leave states: 

(e)  An Employee,other than a casual employee, with responsibilities in relation to a member of their immediate family or household, who needs the employee’s care or support, shall be entitled to use, in accordance with the subclause, any current or accrued personal leave entitlements, for absences to provide care or support for such persons when they are ill/injured or in the case of unexpected emergency.  Such leave may be taken for part of a single day 

(g)  The entitlement to use personal leave in accordance with the subclause is subject to: 

    (i)  The employee being responsible for the care or support of the person concerned; and

   (ii)  The person concerned being a member of the employee’s immediate family or household 

There have also been concerns about how late people have been receiving rosters – getting a roster on a Thursday that starts that following Monday is simply not acceptable! 

So, if any member is told something by their employer that doesn’t sit well, or seems like incorrect information, please contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or so we can help put things straight. 


Healthe Care staff agreement 

Healthe Care's non-nursing staff agreement has expired and it’s time to start negotiating a new one, so we emailed members on 1 July with a survey to fill in to let the bargaining team know what they'd like to see in the log of claims – the members' wish list of things they'd like added, updated or deleted from the current agreement. 

Healthe Care representatives have already said they may be interested in rolling over the expired agreement, meaning they’ll use the current wording but with a 2 % pay rise for each year that it applies, and also said they’d be interested in making it 2 year agreement instead of the current 3 years. 


Union representation is your right 

If you need to meet with management to discuss your work conditions - hours, workload, workplace flexibility, rosters or any other issue that affects their working life - you have the right to union representation.

Most employment agreements and workplace policies include processes the employer must follow before doing things like changing a roster or a statement of duties and tasks, and you can also check agreements and policies to see if there's a special process for disciplinary meetings or anything else relevant to the issue management want to discuss.

It’s a good idea to ask management for a copy of all relevant information in writing before the meeting, and this includes your right to access your personnel file if needed.

We suggest calling HACSUassist to contact the employer to make an appointment. You may need to sit down with a HACSU organiser before the meeting to properly prepare by looking at what the issue is and what the preferred outcome is.

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


What’s your union done for you? 

You can always come to us for advice.

The rights we enjoy at work today have been won for us by workers and their unions:  

•  Annual leave won in 1906, 10 days in the 1970s, then increased to 4 weeks

•  Sick leave began in the 1920s, enshrined in the 1970s to 10 days

•  Penalty rates established in 1947 for work done outside ‘ordinary hours’

•  Maternity Leave Act in 1973

•  Working week defined as 44 hrs in 1927, 40 hrs in 1947 and 38 hrs in 1983

•  Paid parental leave in 2011

•  Dad and partner leave in 2013

•  Superannuation national laws in 1983 associated with the wages accord, where pay rises were forfeited to establish national superannuation at 3%, and from 1992 this rate was increased slowly to 9.5% by 2014 with plans to raise the rate to 12% by 2025 using 0.5% annual increases starting in July 2021.

•  Long service leave - Public servants received it in the 1860s but by the 1950s all employees had access to LSL, confirmed in the 1970s by acts of parliament.

•  Redundancy pay

•  Many more rights and entitlements 

It’s hard to imagine working without all those, the way people did before they banded together and fought so we could all have a better working life. HACSU can assist in many ways – we help resolve workplace issues,we’re your voice, we make sure employers meet their obligations and we can investigate suspected breaches of discrimination laws and workplace safety laws.

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