|PUBLIC SECTOR MEMBERS CALL FOR ESCALATION OF INDUSTRIAL ACTION & A VOTE ON STRIKE ACTION - 27 Jul 20|
A well-attended meeting of members was held at the Trades Hall on Wednesday 25 July to hear a report on our enterprise bargaining negotiations.
Members filled the New Council Chambers at Trades Hall despite the best efforts of the VHIA and employers to subvert the meeting by claiming that job representatives are not entitled to be paid for their time.
Given that these negotiations have been on foot for six months, the meeting was angered to hear that not one matter has been agreed and in fact the employers and DoH remain intent on ripping conditions out of the agreement.
The employers have identified the following, unaltered from their original log of claims, as their priorities:
None of these claims relate to productivity, all are aimed solely at cutting real wages. They would, in fact, reduce productivity and lower the standards of care offered to patients.
Given that we should be nearing the end of our negotiations, the meeting was alarmed that these claims are still being pursued.
It is particularly outrageous given that agreements have now been reached with the nurses, HSU East and with HSU #2 branch (covering psychiatric services), the public sector union and the police and no negative cost cutting has been required in any of them.
In addition there has been no response to the pressing need to align the salaries of medical physicists with NSW and WA rates of pay, to allow the severe shortage of medical physicists in Victoria to be addressed. Seems the Baillieu government is unconcerned about the blow out in waiting lists for cancer patients needing radiation therapy. There are currently 54 radiation physicists in Victoria – a shortage of 20 EFT on the Victorian government’s own figures.
Clearly our current bans are not strong enough to concentrate the minds of hospitals and health services, which continue to treat our members in our disciplines with contempt.
As a result, the meeting decided to move to the next stage of industrial action by unanimously passing the following resolution:
This meeting of MSAV/VPA/AHP members condemns the Government and the employers for their failure to negotiate in good faith.
We call for current industrial action to be escalated and delegate to our negotiating committee the power to determine how the escalation will occur.
If no significant progress is made by 8 August 2012 we resolve to call a stop work meeting to vote on strike action.
Job reps are asked to consult with members about strengthening existing bans as soon as possible. Our negotiating committee members will be contacting job reps within their own health services over the next few days to discuss escalation. Any queries should be addressed to this office.
Members in stand-alone community health services need to be aware that the Government is refusing to confirm that they will continue to be covered by our public health sector agreement.
All members are asked to keep the morning of 8 August 2012 free in the very likely event that we will need to hold a stop work meeting on that day.
.The next meeting with the Department and the employers will be on Friday 27 July 2012.
*Job reps who have their pay docked for attending today’s meeting should contact us. We will be taking the issue to Fair Work Australia as a dispute if health services do not pay according to our agreement.