Austin Theatre Technician Update



As you know the Health Workers Union had recently met with the employer’s representative, the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association (VHIA), to continue to discuss problems with the implementation of the new Theatre Technician structure. In accordance with the previously agreed process, we first addressed the issue of implementing the new management structure.

Subsequent to these discussions, Health Workers Union Representatives and Delegates met with Austin management on 4 April to try and resolve the dispute about recognition of speciality training at Theatre Tech Grade 6. The union’s position at this meeting was clear. Speciality training should be recognised in the reclassification of Theatre Techs to a Grade 6. Austin was only prepared to recognise members of the Liver Transplant Unit as being able to be classified as a Grade 6.

The outcome of this meeting was that Austin had until Friday, 12 April, to consider its position regarding possible further options to put to us to resolve the dispute.  Austin Health advised that it was not going to propose any alternatives to resolve the dispute. This deadline has now passed.

As a result, the HWU escalated the matter by lodging a dispute in the Fair Work Commission on Friday afternoon (April 12).

The dispute in the Fair Work Commission relates to whether Theatre Technicians who have completed speciality training in areas such as cell saving, laser, stealth, organ retrieval or spinal care should be classified as Grade 6. The matter may take some weeks until it proceeds to conciliation at the Fair Work Commission (which is the first stage in the process).

The union is determined to get a fair outcome for our members. We will keep you updated regarding developments.

If you have any questions, please call the HWU on (03) 9341 3300. And remember, together we are stronger!