Epworth EBA Update



The Health Workers Union is currently negotiating your new workplace Agreement with Epworth management. We are determined to get you all HWU members better pay and conditions.

Below is a summary of the negotiations thus far:

Epworth Current Wages Offer

First year: 2.6% (Techs 3 per cent)

Second year: 2.6% (Techs 3 per cent)

Third year: 2.5%

Fourth year: 2.5%

Allowances increase in line with general increase, but on call allowance to be increased to $30.00 in the first year. Epworth does not do back pay, and increases are due to commence from the date of lodgement of the agreement with the Commission after it is voted on.

HWU Wages Response

The Health Workers Union disagrees with the proposed increases. We believe you deserve more.

In particular, we note that the following classifications (in Wage Skill Group 1) fall behind other hospitals on the proposed wage offer by Epworth:

  1. Orderly
  2. Enviro Services Assistant
  3. Food Services Associate
  4. Nursing Assistant
  5. Trades Assistant (Unqualified)
  6. Storeperson

As a result the HWU seeks bigger increases for these classifications (both in percentage and flat dollar increases) to make sure they do not fall behind.  We also want the increase in the first year to be bigger to take into account the delay in getting a new agreement.

First year: 2.89% (but 3.29% for Techs and Wage Skill Group 1).

Second year: 2.6% (but 3% for Techs and Wage Skill Group 1).

Third year: 2.5% (but additional flat dollar increases in experience payments for Wage Skill Group 1).

Fourth year: 2.5%

Matters agreed include:

  • Commitment to maintain adequate staffing levels.
  • A set of conditions to protect employees rights (including having a representative) when Epworth investigates their conduct as part of the disciplinary procedure.
  • Improved consultation provisions – setting clear processes and stages that Epworth must abide by when introducing major change.
  • Confirmation that part time employees will be given a right of refusal of additional shifts (ahead of casuals and agency).
  • Minimum engagement for part time employees of 4 hours.
  • Clarifying redundancy entitlements (previous agreement was hard to understand) and ensuring there is a fair redeployment process to suitable positions.
  • Giving employees more rights when Epworth demands a medical assessment to assess fitness to work, including the right to be represented by the Union and no automatic dismissal. (this is better than what the Nurses have)
  • Introducing the obligation on Epworth to provide a certificate of service if requested.
  • Clarifying and reaffirming the right to wash up time (Epworth wanted to remove).
  • Introducing flexible working arrangements into the agreement to meet child caring, carer responsibilities etc.
  • Introducing a transition to retirement provision (that enables to drop hours or change classifications, but keep your long service leave at the higher amount).
  • Including a reasonable protection for overtime. Also confirming that Overtime is paid for the actual shift worked.
  • Preserving the Seniors Allowance (Epworth wanted to change it).
  • Inserting apprentice conditions and entitlements – including Adult Apprentice wage rates.
  • Protections for equitable and fair distribution of annual leave (taking into account the previous distribution across school holidays, Christmas, Easter etc).
  • Ensuring annual leave loading is paid out on termination.
  • Protections for equitable and fair distribution of public holidays
  • Ability to substitute religious public holidays (eg. Easter being substituted for Orthodox Easter)
  • Improved parental leave conditions (including increased concurrent partner leave, breast feeding provisions)
  • Family violence leave

Matters outstanding include:

  • The HWU are demanding a casual conversion clause.
  • The HWU are demanding a review of part time hours (to convert additional part time hours to contracted hours, when worked on a regular and systematic basis over 12 months).
  • Clarifying payment for part time employees when directed to work overtime and rights of part timers to refuse additional shifts if not paid overtime.
  • Directions to take excessive annual leave (we want an employee to be able to take annual leave if the employer refuses to approve it).
  • New tech classification descriptors: we claimed for a model similar to the public sector.
  • New classification descriptor for Ward Host, Concierge, Environmental Services Supervisor, Loans Coordinator, Prosthesis Coordinator, ICU Technician)
  • Sick leave to cover medical appointments and pre-natal (including adoption) appointments.
  • Improved training leave and career planning provision.
  • The HWU seek an additional weeks leave for employees on call for 10 or more weekends per annum.

Further information

The Health Workers Union will continue to negotiate in good faith to achieve a positive outcome for our members.   Your union Organiser, Ray Collins, has held many meetings across all Epworth sites to hear from members about what matter to you most in your next workplace Agreement.

Ray will continue to speak to HWU members and Delegates at Epworth. Please attend one of the next scheduled meetings to have your say.

Of course, we will keep you updated on negotiations. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please call Ray Collins on 0476 838 386.