Late 2018, during workload and backfill discussions with the MSAV, Monash Health made a commitment to the microbiology department of 4.5 EFT. Shortly after, it was reneged.
A year long struggle ensued between the Union and Monash Health for our promised 4.5 staff!
Monash Health won the Pathology tender for the Bass Coast/ South Gippsland work in October 2019.
All of the microbiology work from the Bass coast/South Gippsland and Wonthaggi were to be sent to Clayton for processing. We were to absorb it all, this would not be a problem for us as the total daily specimen numbers were estimated at 8. 8!
Still in the depths of our struggle for our promised 4.5 EFT, to be told that we had to take on a single specimen more was an outrageous insult! Not to mention, that no one believed there’d be only “8” specimens!
The MSAV members in microbiology met with Paul and Heidi in early October, and it was suggested, and decided, that we would not do any work that came into the laboratory from the new Bass Coast tender.
Paul informed Monash Health that day that the members had decided not to perform any Bass Coast work until the promise of the 4.5 EFT was honoured. He also expressed our anger at having our workload increased without any consideration of our welfare, deteriorating Quality standards, and elevated patient safety risks.
Finally, the week arrived when Bass Coast went “live”; we went about our normal workload.
Except we did one thing extra. We stood together. Solidarity.
The specimens were sent to a couple of other laboratories. It didn’t really work. After a short time, a week or so, we were asked when we could start processing the Bass coast specimens if we were given the 4.5 EFT.
The answer was immediately! And there were a lot more than 8!
I remind our members from time-to-time what power we have when we stand together. I remind them of the Bass coast story.
It’s a little story, but it’s our story, we did it.
— Sara Sujansky