The Union wants to be able to better understand the nature and extent of unpaid work, and more importantly, how unpaid work has changed and the impact it has on members over time. That’s why the Union is continuing with our survey we started in 2014.
Over the past decade staff reductions forced through budget cuts by State and Federal Governments and/or growth in demand for services has caused workloads to steadily increase. We know there has been a failure by some managers in dealing with the extra work, and instead try to build an expectation that if you don’t do unpaid work, you’re letting everyone else down – your colleagues, the patients and the management.
Results from previous years clearly show that the expectation is that we just do more and more work in the same amount of time. We know that thousands of hours of unpaid time will be worked to cope with unreasonably high workloads.
Based on the results of previous surveys, there is growing evidence that health services have a systemic reliance on unpaid work to keep many services afloat. There is also growing evidence of the negative impact this is having on our health. And we suspect that this situation has become worse since we last did our “No Pay? No Way!” survey. The research we’ve been doing assisted in the latest round of enterprise bargaining when it came to clauses around workloads and leave replacement.
We want to be able to use our research to continue lobbying and advocating for proper workforce planning that takes into account the ever growing workloads and the increasing demand on health services; including the extra stress growing workloads create.