Berry Street Update


Dear Berry Street HWU Member,

The HWU is Negotiating Your Next Workplace Agreement

As you know, your Berry Street workplace Agreement has expired. After significant delays and Berry Street dragging their feet on negotiations, we’re pleased to say matters are now progressing.

The Health Workers Union has recently met with the management of Berry Street (four meetings thus far) and have discussed important items including:

  • Leave arrangements (personal leave/annual leave/long service leave)
  • Parental leave
  • Public holidays
  • Annual review of permanent part time hours
  • Conversion of casual employees to permanent roles
  • Provisions for allowing an employee to work more than one role in the organisation
  • Providing at least 2 consecutive days off in each fortnight
  • Ensuring that any time taken in lieu (TIL) is taken at the overtime rate
  • Higher duties
  • Sleepover rates
  • Work/life balance

Positive Discussions So Far…

Some of the positives coming from discussions include:

  • Long service leave flexibility will be provided for people who wish to reduce their hours and maintain their entitlements (ie. work less hours and use long service leave to ‘top-up’ their pay, or reduce hours and preserve long service leave at the greater rate). This is sometimes known as ‘transition to retirement’
  • Agreement has been reached to use personal leave to attend medical appointments (ie. if you need to leave during the day for 2 hours to attend a doctor, 2 hours of sick leave will be deducted)
  • If you work as a casual on a regular and systematic basis for 6 months or more, you can request that your role be converted to a permanent role and the request can’t be unreasonably refused
  • If you work as a permanent part-time employee and have picked up regular hours (over a 12 month period) in addition to your contract, you can request that these hours be added to your contract
  • Residential care staff will no longer be required to work more than 76 hours per fortnight (unless they are paid overtime)
  • Superannuation will be payable on all paid parental leave (including maternity leave)
  • Personal leave will be permitted for pre-adoption and pregnancy related appointments/classes
  • Increased provision for HWU delegates to attend conferences, Branch Committee of Management, or National Council (unpaid leave)

Still Up For Negotiation…

Matters still being discussed (where no position has thus far been declared) include:

  • Pay increases
  • Workload/caseload management and review of workload process
  • Staffing levels – particularly in relation to two staff members being present in residential care at all times (cluster workers).
  • Staffing levels – addressing the gaps in between shifts during the day
  • Disciplinary matters
  • An increase in the sleepover allowance to $70 per occasion (although this is offset against not receiving overtime for returning to work – within the first hour)
  • Time off in lieu (TIL) arrangements – particularly applying overtime rates for TIL (ie. if one hour of overtime, 1.5 hours TIL)
  • Amount of paid leave for partners to parent/co-parent
  • Lactation facilities and provisions
  • Payment amounts for part-time employees on public holidays
  • Classification levels

We Are Keen For Your Feedback

If you have something you want to add or have questions about, we  encourage you to contact Cameron Granger (HWU Industrial Officer) at  

The HWU will keep you updated about negotiations and consult our Berry Street HWU members before finalising any agreement.

Remember - encourage your Berry Street work colleagues to join the HWU by calling (03) 9341 3300 or visiting or by returning the attached HWU Membership Form (click to download). Together we are stronger!