Public sector newsletter

Posted on
April 26, 2021
Public Sector

Your sector update.

Here’s your update on Tasmanian public sector and agency issues, the ongoing COVID response and other things relating to broader public sector and union campaigns. With the state election campaign underway, there are plenty of commitments being made about public services. We will hold all politicians accountable for their commitments no matter who is in government after 1 May.

TOIL and banking of hours

We’ve been aware that some managers have issued instructions that TOIL or the banking of hours will no longer be supported and that overtime will be paid in all circumstances.

It’s great that they seem to be committed to paying well-deserved penalty rates, but the ability to negotiate TOIL or banking of hours is a right for general staff, AHPs, nurses and midwives.

Not only is it a provision in Award, but it also allows workers and their direct line managers to come to arrangements that suit them, their lives and the needs of the service.

We understand that certain service areas may prefer to pay overtime, but management cannot arbitrarily ignore or attempt to amend Award provisions.

For more info please contact HACSUassist at or call 1300 880 032


Safety always wins

Because Beaconsfield District Health Service members took action together on work health and safety, the THS will now supply Multiskilled Domestics with footwear on a wear and tear basis, the same as the Launceston General Hospital.

Employers have an obligation to protect workers from potential injury at work. It is unlawful for employers to require workers to provide their own safety equipment.

There are still ongoing issues over workloads and safety in Beaconsfield hospital. Workers are continuing their industrial action to win reasonable staffing and safe working conditions. There were times where it hasn’t been easy, but not once has anyone given up. Beaconsfield workers should be so proud of what you’ve achieved so far by standing united.

If you need any information regarding safety and protecting your rights at work, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 880 032.


Commission of Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Submissions to the Commission of Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse are now open and, if you plan to make a submission, we’re here to support you through this process.

We strongly recommend that you contact HACSUassist prior to making any submission or statement.  We’ll be able to give you advice on developing your submission and any ongoing support you may need if you are called as a witness to the Commission of Inquiry.

For more info please contact HACSUassist at or call 1300 880 032.


Staffing model for district hospitals

We have been working through establishing a staffing model for district hospitals that will, for the most part, see an increase to FTE in these wonderful and vital facilities.

All workers at district hospitals should receive a survey about their work and the staffing model in April. If you work at a district hospital, we encourage you to take part in the survey and have your say about staffing in your area.


Mental health reform continues with concerns

The mental health reform continues to roll on with some change proposals being worked through with services in the south of the state.

Whilst the THS is focused on this particular part of the change, there are still important questions about other parts of the service and how different areas of mental health interact with each other, and the THS don’t seem to have any answers.

Also, we’re concerned about the ongoing vacancy issues in mental health services. The reform calls for additional workers, but the THS haven’t admitted the problems that make it hard to fill the current recruitment gaps.

We want to hear from you because we know it’s workers who know what needs to change to make their services better.

We’ll be visiting mental health services and talking to workers so we can come up with a plan together to make sure any change benefits those who use it and who work in it.

For more info or to organise a meeting in your work area please contact HACSUassist on 1300 880032 or


Child Safety Service redesign approved to move to change proposal phase  

The Child Safety redesign will move to the change proposal and implementation phase after being approved by the Deputy Secretary.

The change will see the implementation of new team and practice leader structures.

Whilst overall the change seems to be positive and well-reasoned, we’re not sure if it will address the issues our members keep raising like retention, workloads and communication. We’re also worried about unsafe caseloads that still exist in some areas of the service.

Consultation will continue as the agency moves to implement the change and we encourage you to ask any questions that you want answered.


Have you had unwanted attention at work?

You’re not powerless if you’ve felt uncomfortable around a co-worker and there are steps you can take in response to inappropriate conduct or unwanted attention.

Unwanted attention is behaviour you consider unwelcome that is severe and pervasive enough to make you feel like you’re in a hostile work environment, including:

•  Repeated and unwanted communication via phone, email, social media etc

•  Commenting on your physical appearance or abilities

•  Unwanted touching of any kind, including an arm around your shoulder or a pat on your back

•  Targeted and repeated jokes that are offensive in nature

•  Repeatedly asking you out on a date when you’ve already said no

•  Leaving or sending you unwanted gifts

Set ground rules, tell a perpetrator their behaviour is unwanted and must stop, and document dates, times, comments and witnesses to any incident where something seems off.

If you feel you can’t approach them, or if the inappropriate behaviour continues, file a report with your supervisor because if it continues it’s considered harassment.

Harassment shouldn’t affect anyone’s employment and a responsible employer will stop harassment in its tracks and give workers a safe workplace, but there are instances where they don’t take action.

If your employer fails to act, don’t feel you have to ignore it or quit. You should contact HACSU and we’ll help you assert your rights and make sure your issue is dealt with correctly not swept under the carpet.

Because unwanted attention is subjective and can be confusing, document incidents that make you uncomfortable and speak to your supervisor or higher-up when unwanted attention becomes a problem that affects your work environment.

We’re here to support you and will always stand up to stamp out this type of behaviour.


HACSU represents you, HACSU supports you

Thanks for the amazing work you’re doing to support our community.

Feel free to contact HACSUassist between 8am and 6pm Monday to Thursday and 8am to 5pm on Fridays, about anything in this newsletter or any other concern, however small you feel your issue might be.

Be strong, take care and stay safe - we’re proud to represent you.

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

Public Sector