Joining your Union is an essential to having a healthy workplace. By joining the VPA Inc you’re helping to ensure you and your colleagues have a stronger voice to protect your rights at work and when bargaining for a new agreement.
It also means we’re able to do more to protect your profession and deliver even more benefits.
Together we are stronger!
Here are 7 reasons you should join the VPA Inc today!
1. Your Rights at Work
Your rights at work are worth fighting for and that’s where the VPA comes in. We’ve been fighting for your rights at work for over 30 years and making sure that your employer is doing the right thing. It’s the bread and butter of the VPA to make sure your rights are protected.
And when we find out an employer isn’t doing the right thing we swing into action to make sure your rights are being protected. Whether it’s to make sure you’ve been paid properly, to ensure you can negotiate your return to work from parental leave or to protect your right to consultation when things change at work, the VPA’s got your back.
The VPA Inc is part of the Health Services Union Victoria Number 4 Branch which allows the VPA Inc to represent you in the Fair Work Commission, the Equal Opportunity Commission and other tribunals.
The VPA Inc:
- Offers members individual and collective representation
- Negotiates the terms and conditions of psychologists employed in public and private health services, including around classification definitions and career paths, rates of pay and higher qualifications allowances, as well as entitlements to all forms of paid leave
- Takes matters such as under-classification or underpayment to the Fair Work Commission or if necessary to the Federal Court on behalf of individual members.
By joining the Union you’re able to access individual professional workplace assistance. The Union is here to help protect your rights at work. We assist members with returning to work from parental leave, WorkCover claims, unfair dismissal claims, disciplinary action, claims for back pay, under-classification and more.
And if you need it we can provide representation regarding workers’ compensation matters through Union Assist.
We represent members in consulting with employers in relation to proposed work place changes, restructuring and redundancy.
2. Improving Workplace Health and Safety
We know that not every workplace is safe or puts in place the measures needed for a healthy workplace. That’s why the Union works with our Job Reps, affected members and employers to ensure workplaces are safe.
We campaign on occupational health and safety (OHS) matters, including through our work on occupational stress. We take OHS seriously because, like you, we know that unsafe and unhealthy workplaces are dangerous workplaces which ultimately have a negative impact on your ability to do the best for your patients.
3. Professional Development
Your professional development is important to the Union. We know that it’s a vital part of ensuring you’re up-to-date with the latest developments and that regular and ongoing professional development is crucial to your continued registration as a psychologist. That’s why the VPA Inc offers financial members two (2) professional development seminars each year, which are free and are delivered by your peers and/or specialist speakers.
We negotiate paid professional development leave for psychologists under the enterprise agreements applying to your workplace, including the entitlement to seven days paid PD leave per annum across public health services.
4. Professional Indemnity Insurance
Your membership includes cover under the VPA Inc’s group Professional Indemnity insurance which supplements any cover you have from your employer and is compliant with the requirements of the Psychology Board of Australia (PBA).
Our Professional Indemnity insurance goes further than your employer’s cover, and provides additional protection in the form of:
- Personal legal representation in relation to the Coroner’s Court or other court proceedings, separate to your employer’s legal representation
- Legal assistance in the preparation of statements or other documentation in relation to Court proceedings arising out of your employment
- Legal representation in relation to notifications or complaints to AHPRA/ PBA arising out of your employment.
There are members who have had to take advantage of all three of these aspects of the VPA Inc’s Professional Indemnity insurance.
The Professional Indemnity insurance does NOT cover any private practice work and it lapses if you become unfinancial or resign from the VPA Inc while continuing to be employed as a psychologist.
5. Advocating for Psychologists
The VPA fights to protect the positions of psychologists employed in public and private health services through lobbying and strongly advocating for the essential input of psychologists into the delivery of world-class health care.
The VPA Inc is represented on the Department of Health and Human Services’ Mental Health Workforce Planning Group and regularly makes submissions in relation to policy matters affecting the interests of psychologists employed in all areas of the provision of health services, including in mental health services, acute health services, community services, rehabilitation services, drug and alcohol services and aged care.
6. Member Benefits
By being a member of the Union you get to access a range of great services at discounted rates. The Union works with ACTU Member Benefits so you can take advantage of the collective buying power of more than 1.8 million union members to get big discounts from a great range of companies.
Your union membership allows you to save money on low cost banking and loans; financial advice; new cars and hire cars, travel, gift cards, movies, tyres, wine and more.
You are also able to access a free consultation with a solicitor re personal matters as part of your membership.
7. Your Union. Your Say.
Your Union is a democratic organisation that exists to make your working life less complicated by fighting for your rights at work and ensuring your rights are being upheld. And as a member of the Union you get to have your say on the direction of the Union.
You get to elect the leaders of your Union. The VPA Inc is governed by an elected Committee of psychologist members with expert knowledge who advise our industrial staff, and there are three dedicated psychologist positions on the Branch Committee of Management (BCOM) of the HSU#4 Branch. Elections for the VPA Committee occur every 2 years at the VPA AGM and HSU#4 BCOM elections take place every 4 years under the auspices of the Australian Electoral Commission
Plus you get to have your say on the kinds of claims and issues we lobby and advocate for when we negotiate new agreements.
There’s never been a better time to join the Victorian Psychologists Association Incorporated. And don’t forget that your VPA Inc membership is fully tax deductible.
There is a special discounted rate for Students who join the VPA Inc.
VPA Student members are welcome to attend the free VPA Inc Professional Development Seminars, and are able to access advice from our experienced industrial staff in relation to the terms and conditions of any offers of employment as a psychologist they may receive.
Check out this great video about what Unions have done for us