Community Health

Community Health Workers

The Health Workers Union represents many of the hard-working people that work within Victoria’s Community Health Centres (CHCs). The Health Workers Union has been working very hard to make sure that the workers within CHCs are paid decent wages and have reasonable working conditions. 

In 2022, the Health Workers Union  commenced member engagement about their Victorian Stand-Alone CHC's Enterprise Agreements. We visited Community Health Centres across Victoria.

Please bear in mind that, collectively, workers in a union have greater negotiating power than they do individually!

CHCs operate across the state and provide a broad range of services and health promotion activities to local communities, particularly those who have or are at risk of the poorest health and have the greatest economic and social needs.

CHSs receive Community Health Program funding from the Department of Health. There are approximately 100 CHSs in Victoria operating from approximately 350 sites. 

Within a typical CHS, you can find General Practitioners and mental health clinicians (either directly employed by the CHS or possess their own provider number and use Medicare to Bulk Bill patients) and privately funded services, and other health and support services, to make up the majority of the primary health sector in Victoria.

The Victorian Government primarily funds the following services through CHS:

  • Dental services
  • Allied health clinicians (including audiology, dietetics, exercise physiology, physiotherapy, podiatry, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
  • Counsellors
  • Medical and Nursing services (Enrolled and registered) and
  • Health promotion experts.

Some CHS offer other services and supports which can include:

  • Disability services
  • Aged care services
  • Alcohol and drug programs
  • Rehabilitation programs
  • Maternal and child health services
  • Outreach services
  • Problem gambling programs
  • Carer respite
  • Mental health programs
  • Support for self-help


The good news is that after our latest round of negotiations with the Victorian Hospital Industry Association (the Employer's representative), an in-principle deal has now been reached.

A new, in-principle pay deal includes:

  • Base annual pay increases to wages and allowances as follows:
    • 3% increase on 1 July 2022;
    • 3% increase on 1 July 2023;
    • 2.5% increase on 1 July 2024; and
    • 2.5% increase on 1 July 2025.
  • Additional Wage Uplifts to Dental Assistants to address recruitment and retention.These additional payments to Dental Assistants, who are highly unionised, are outlined in Appendix C (See attachment in link below). These uplifts include a 5% increase on 1 July 2022; a 5% increase on 1 July 2023; a 5% increase on 1 July 2024; and a 2.5% increase on 1 July 2025.
  • Translation of Clerical to Admin to deliiver actual increases for current Clerical Workers more than the base increases. (See Appendix B in attachment in link below).
  • A four-year Agreement with a nominal expiry date of 30 June 2026.
  • An ‘hours of work’ clause to provide greater rostering flexibility
  • Removal of references to ‘broken shifts’
  • A minimum 1-hour payment at relevant overtime rate where an on-call employee is disturbed but can resolve the matter appropriately without the need for returning to facility.
  • Transition to access long-service leave from 15 years to 10 years in 2022; 9 years from 2023; 8 years from 2025; and 7 years from 2026.
  • Increase non-primary carer paid component from 1 week to 2 weeks.
  • Family violence leave of 20 days per year.
  • Alignment of Dental Assistant terms and conditions with those under Health & Allied Service, this includes higher Personal/Carer Leave Accrual.

Thanks to all Community Health HWU Delegates and HWU Members that have helped shape this new in-principle pay deal. Your work throughout our consultation phase has been invaluable.

The Health Workers Union has worked hard to deliver a strong outcome for our Community Health HWU members. We believe our in-principle agreement, which delivers pay parity outcomes with public health workers, is the best possible outcome that can be achieved for our members in the current economic climate.

Of course, any new Agreement would first need to be endorsed by all affected Community Health workers. Once this happens, and the Fair Work Commission can ratify the new Agreement, including the benefits such as pay rises, can flow on to affected workers.

Of course, we want feedback from all our HWU Community Health members. Please email any questions, thoughts or suggestions to or call the HWU on (03) 9341 3300.

To view a copy of the Community Health Head of Agreement document, simply click on the link below:

Community Health Heads of Agreement

For a full list of Community Health Centres follow this link.