Looking ahead in 2018

If 2017 was a big year we expect 2018 to be an even bigger year.15015_0203

This year we will work hard to bed down our new Public Sector agreement and start putting into action the important new provisions that we secured together. (We’re still celebrating the outstanding result of the agreement ballot.) In particular we want to ensure that the provisions around backfilling leave are fully utilised and tested. These provisions were included because of our work in identifying the growing pressure on staff to do more work and work longer hours, often without pay.

The Union will continue bargaining with the Community Sector and private providers, and we remain hopeful that employers will bargain in good faith. And we will continue advocating for better outcomes for Victoria’s health care sector by challenging the ongoing notion that better results are delivered by outsourcing vital clinical services.

But we know there are still some big issues that remain. We’re regularly dealing with emboldened managers and supervisors who think the rules don’t apply to them as they make resolving disputes more complicated than they need to be. We’re also seeing an increase in interference from employers demanding staff see their healthcare professionals claiming they only want to help, which in reality will be used to discipline staff, put people under pressure leading to people being sacked. It’s clear the rules are broken and it’s vital we change the rules. That’s why the Union will be working with other Unions across Australia and the Australian Council of Trade Unions to keep up the campaign to Change the Rules.

As we kick off 2018 the Union will work with you to increase our membership. With the great outcome from the public sector agreement, now is the time to ask your colleagues who aren’t a member to join up. And if you have anyone new starting, it’s the best time to ask them to join up.

And the Union will continue its “No Pay? No Way!” campaign. This campaign has given the Union vital information about the impacts of unpaid work and the variety of reasons that it continues to happen. It has also been instrumental in guiding the Union on its lobbying and advocacy work with the State Government, as well as developing things like our log of claims for the most recent public sector bargaining efforts. It has become an important part of the Union’s ongoing work helping us identify trends within our sector. In this year’s “No Pay? No Way!” survey we will be including questions around the impact of unpaid work on your personal life and health and well-being.

2018 promises to be a big year for the Union and we look forward to working with you all in continuing the fight for our rights at work and changing the rules for working people.

Paul Elliott

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