PUBLIC SECTOR AGREEMENT HWU MEMBERS UPDATE

PUBLIC SECTOR AGREEMENT HWU MEMBERS UPDATE

As you know, the Health Workers Union (HWU) has been actively negotiating your new public sector workplace Agreement. This Agreement will determine your pay and conditions for the next four years.

We are pleased to inform you that negotiations with your employer’s representative, the VHIA (Victorian Hospital Industry Association) are progressing well. We are now very close to finalising your Agreement.

FINALISING DISCUSSIONS

There are three meetings scheduled this week, and another two next week. If, following these meetings, the HWU and the VHIA can come to an agreement on all outstanding matters - including pay rises, bonuses, allowances and improvements to your working conditions - then we will proceed to the next step – which is to get the Victorian Government’s formal response. This is required.

If the Victorian Government agrees, then a Heads of Agreement document can be signed.

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT WAGES POLICY

This Agreement covers approximately 55,000 Victorian public hospital workers. The HWU has, first and foremost, sought to look after the interests of our members during negotiations - especially those on lower-paid classifications.

As you are aware, the Victorian Government has a very strict wages policy. To date, all other Victorian public sector agreements have kept in-line with this policy. The good news is that the “third pillar” of the Victorian Government’s public sector wages policy means there is significant leeway to make further improvements for many classifications.

More information about your classification, as well as proposed bonuses and other allowances, will be sent to you when we are able to finalise our negotiations with the VHIA.

THE PROCESS TO FINALISE YOUR AGREEMENT

We anticipate that the Victorian Government’s response may take several weeks. If approval is gained, the proposed Agreement will then need to be voted on by ALL Victorian public hospital employees affected by it – this includes HWU members and non-members. The HWU anticipates that this process would occur in April or May at the very earliest.

If the employee vote is successful, the new Agreement will then need to be ratified by the Fair Work Commission.  Once this happens, the Agreement is law. Your employer must abide by it. This ‘ratification’ process occurred quickly in the last agreement but may be more delayed this time around.

Once the Fair Work Commission formally approves your new Agreement - things like pay increases and bonuses - can begin to flow through to you.

LISTENING TO HWU MEMBERS

The HWU values your input. Your next Agreement has been formed on the back of extensive consultation from our HWU public sector members and delegates. Thank you to everyone who have been involved in this process thus far.

We will be holding various HWU members and delegates meetings in the coming months - at public hospital workplaces as well as online forums - to talk about your next Agreement and what it means for you.

If you have any questions, please call the HWU on (03) 9341 3300 or email info@hwu.org.au.

Together, we are stronger.