Here's a snapshot of what's been going on in private health workplaces and how HACSU can help.
Due to the pandemic many employers took precautions to ensure that protective screens were put in place in their worksites but, unfortunately, some took longer than others to make this happen.
Members at I-MED Radiology on the north west coast told us they believed management had been a little slow off the mark to place orders for protective screens for the front desks of their rooms.
Although hand sanitiser, 1.5 metre social distancing signs and personal protective equipment was provided where necessary, protective screens were the last item to be addressed, therefore taking a while to be installed.
We’re happy to say the screens are now at all I-MED front desks along the north west coast, a great relief for those who, as the first point of contact, perform a vital role ensuring patients are safe to enter and be seen by other staff.
There are proposed roster changes for DSPL workers who do the 24/7 roster at Calvary, but we don’t believe there’s been adequate consultation about this, and it also appears they wish to manage this change by cancelling flexibility arrangements that previously gave members additional annual leave entitlements.
We’ve written to DSPL management to inform them that we represent the workers and that we’ve been asked to be a party to the consultation and dispute the matter if need be.
Bargaining has begun for technical scientists at TAS IVF and, while the agreement is reasonable overall, there’s plenty of room for improvement, so we’ve submitted a large log of claims – a staff wish list – and we’ve sent the Notice of Employee Representational Rights.
The first meeting gave the negotiating team a chance to explain the log of claims, and we’re hoping our positions were accepted, but that’ll become clear at the next meeting, held this week.
It needs to be pointed out that many ‘national employers’ often associate Tasmanian workforces as getting less pay because of cost of living issues, but the realities of that are changing. Tasmania in real terms has become more expensive than many mainland states and getting $15K less per annum for the same role is a bridge too far. Hobart is second only to Sydney for cost of living when comparing the CPI numbers. That said, our primary focus on pay is to reduce the existing gaps, not achieve parity, even though that’s probably fair.
The bargaining for the agreement is about to begin, and we’ve surveyed members and are in the process of circulating the final log of claims wish list. If any Hobart Private nurses want to be part of the bargaining team, please email Janine via firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on1300 880 032. It appears the primary focus is going to be about workloads and dispute resolutions about understaffing of rosters as well as trying to achieve a decent pay rise.
The broader union movement is about to embark on a campaign to ensure workers are at the forefront of any plan the government comes up with as part of the economic recovery from the pandemic.
Working people are the ones who’ve carried Australia through this time crisis, and many of you have literally been on the frontline. Many other workers have moved mountains to rapidly transition to working remotely so they can keep services available and businesses open. Thousands of our comrades have had hours, pay and jobs cut and some have had to use their super just to survive. It was union members who campaigned and won JobKeeper, JobSeeker and pandemic leave, and your efforts have saved jobs, livelihoods and lives.
Australian workers carried the load during this pandemic, and we should be the centre of the recovery plan, and governments need to protect and support the wages and rights at work of working people - this is critical for consumer spending.
Governments also need to adopt a National Economic Reconstruction Plan using their spending power to save and create secure jobs and leave a legacy for future generations, and we have a list of ideas that’ll work and we’ll be in your workplace soon to talk more about it.
For more information visit https://fortheworkers.australianunions.org.au/homeor contact us at HACSUassist.
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Thanks for the amazing work you’re doing in this unprecedented, rapidly changing environment. Feel free to contact HACSUassist from 8am-6pm Monday to Thursday and 8am–5pm Fridays about anything in this newsletter or any other issue you have, regardless of how small you feel the issue might be. Be strong, take care and stay safe - we’re proud to represent you.