About the new VPA Secretary

Thank you to members for supporting my nomination as Secretary.

I wanted to share a little about myself, and about what I believe, particularly for those who may not have met me yet.

I believe in unions.

Every day when our union supports members, we are working towards correcting the imbalance of power which exists in workplaces. When we support members to, recover an underpayment or when we support a psychologist returning from parental leave to negotiate flexible working arrangements, we are helping that individual. But we’re also increasing our collective knowledge.

I believe that our workplaces are healthier and happier when workers know and can enforce their rights, and when there is more participation in decision making: when there is more democracy.

Workplaces are unhealthy when workers don’t feel they can ask questions and raise concerns, particularly about health and safety.

Unions are more important now than ever.

A strong union has always been the best driver for improving the terms and conditions in our workplaces. Over the last 12 months, the VPA and the MSAV have worked very hard to ensure that Psychologists continue to have entitlements which are growing. I believe that unless entitlements are protected in enterprise agreements, there is no assurance that things like supervision, professional development, career progression, will be provided. These are entitlements which are negotiated and protected by unions; by our union.

Finally, I believe deeply that you, the members, are the union. And we will always work best when members are engaging, sharing what is important to you, your concerns, issues, ideas, opportunities, particularly as the royal commission changes roll out. For our union to operate most effectively, members need to drive your union. I will always be available for members; call, email, or write.

On a personal note, I have a 3-year-old Lagotta Romagnolo puppy called Finn who is a much beloved member of the family. And I’ve been spending my lockdown weekends relearning the piano (having saved a $50 upright from Facebook marketplace a couple of years ago).

– Lisa Alcock

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