PUBLIC SECTOR AGREEMENT UPDATE

PUBLIC SECTOR AGREEMENT UPDATE

YOUR AGREEMENT SETS YOUR PAY AND CONDITIONS

As you know, the current Public Sector Agreement expires on October 1, 2020. This Agreement covers your classification and determines your pay and conditions. The current Agreement was negotiated and signed by the Health Workers Union (your bargaining representative). This Agreement saw some 55,000 Victorian public hospital workers receive a 14% pay rise over 4 years from 2016 to 2020. We are now negotiating a new Agreement for you for the next four years.

RE-JOIN THE UNION TO APPOINT THE HWU AS YOUR BARGAINING AGENT

Don’t be left behind. You can have the Health Workers Union as your automatic bargaining agent by simply re-joining today. Go to https://www.hwu.org.au/get-involved/join-our-union. The HWU is pushing for an 18% pay rise over 4 years. The government’s wages policy is to offer you only 8% over 4 years. If you want to get a fairer deal, join the union. It’s the only way! The more public sector members we have, the greater the chances of success. You will also be legally protected in the event of protected industrial action.

NEGOTIATIONS HAVE BEGUN

We have entered the formal bargaining period. The HWU has lodged its Log of Claims (click link below to read Log of Claims) with the Victorian Hospital Industry Association (VHIA). The VHIA is the bargaining representative of your employer. There have been 7 meetings with the VHIA thus far. Both parties have resolved to meet every Tuesday and Friday to progress discussions.

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT WAGES POLICY

The Victorian Andrews Labor Government has a rigid public sector wages policy. It states that public sector employees receive only a 2% pay rise per annum. Over the four-year Agreement life, that equates to only an 8% pay rise. (Note that the Baillieu Liberal Government gave public hospital workers more, with a 10% pay rise from 2010 to 2014). The Andrews Government has cited the poor state of its finances for the current 2% wages policy. This policy was put in place before COVID19 struck. Since then, Victoria’s finances have worsened. Public health workers should not be penalised for the parlous state of the Victorian government’s finances.

PUBLIC HOSPITAL WORKERS DESERVE MORE

The HWU does not accept the Victorian Government’s wages policy. Victorian backbench politicians recently received a 3.5% pay this year. There appears to be one rule for them, and another rule for everyone else. Time and again, our politicians have called Victoria’s public hospital workers “heroes on the frontline”. The HWU believes heroes deserve much more than a measly 2% pay rise.

AN 18% PAY RISE OVER 4 YEARS IS FAIR

The HWU’s Log of Claims is seeking a pay increase of 18% over four years. That’s 4.5% a year, every year for the 4 year life of the Agreement. That’s fair. Our public hospital workers have proven themselves to be essential in this time of crisis. It’s not just our doctors and nurses that have kept our public hospital system running in these last few months - it’s the hard working 55,000 workers that make our hospital system tick. Without you, that health system stops.

HWU LOG OF CLAIMS

The HWU’s fair Log of Claims was developed after extensive feedback from our members. You told us what you wanted, and we listened.

Some highlights of the HWU’s Log of Claims (attached below) includes:

WAGES

  • A 4.5% pay increase from October 1, 2020
  • A 4.5% pay increase from October 1, 2021
  • A 4.5% pay increase from October 1, 2022
  • A 4.5% pay increase from October 1, 2023

OTHER

  • Uniform 4.5% allowance increases in line with annual wage increases
  • Potability of annual leave between health services (on election of employee)
  • Payment of once off lump sum to allied health employees
  • Free, discounted or subsidised car parking for staff.
  • Payment of a loading when employees work short-staffed on a shift.
  • Special leave for health emergencies
  • Additional week’s leave for all employees
  • Broaden criteria for flexible working arrangements
  • Ability to bank ADO’s and TOIL to be taken on block
  • Improved part-time review of hours clause
  • Automatic conversion of casual employment after six months
  • Fairer rostering processes
  • Further targeted wage increases to redress historical low pay levels
  • Access to personal leave during long service leave
  • A clear and fair process of approving leave
  • Long Service Leave to be accessible pro-rata at 7 years
  • Nauseous allowance for affected classifications
  • Allowance for ‘buddying’ with employees and for ‘orientating’ employees

Please take the time to carefully read the HWU’s Log of Claims (click below). It is an extensive claim based on feedback we received from member consultation. The HWU’s Log of Claims is a working document. If there is something that you think should be considered (that is not in the document), please email the HWU on info@hwu.org.au or call (03) 9341 3300 and we can raise it during negotiations.

NEGOTIATIONS TO DATE

The HWU and the VHIA have so far achieved broad agreement on:

  • The need to revise the classification structure
  • Simplifying the Agreement so that it can be easily read
  • Clarifying arrangements around public holidays
  • Using common clauses between Section 2 (Support Services) and Section 3 (Administration).

To date, no agreement about percentage increases for wages or allowances has been agreed upon. This point is obviously the most contentious when negotiating a new workplace agreement. The HWU remains hopeful that an agreement can be reached in good faith, without the need for protected industrial action. The HWU and VHIA will continue to discuss each other’s respective claims over the coming weeks. Once this has occurred, the Victorian Government will be involved in discussions about funding for the new Agreement.

STRONGER TOGETHER – REJOIN THE HWU TODAY!

It is important that the HWU remains in a strong bargaining position throughout a discussion. The more public sector members we have, the better our chances of getting you a decent pay rise. Now is the time to get active in your workplace. Re-join the union today. Help us to help you by joining your work colleagues to the union. It may well make the difference in the pay rise you ultimately achieve. The bigger we are, the better our chances of success. Go to https://www.hwu.org.au/get-involved/join-our-union.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE HWU’S PUBLIC SECTOR LOG OF CLAIMS.