The new Public Sector Agreement has been approved by the Fair Work Commission!

The Union is extremely happy, and relieved, that the Fair Work Commission has approved the new Agreement.

This is especially the case given the amount of time and work it has taken to negotiate it and the time taken for the Agreement to go through the various steps.

The new Agreement comes into full effect on Monday 28 November.

From that date, the new pay rates, entitlements and conditions we negotiated will start being applied.

Over the coming weeks we will publish information sheets about your new entitlements, which will be available on the Member Portal.

It’s important to point out that without the strength of our members and the hard work of our bargaining team, the excellent outcomes we achieved would not have come to fruition.

With the Agreement about to come into full effect, now is a great time to encourage your colleagues who aren’t members of the Union to join.

Having more members means we will have a stronger voice when it comes to lobbying the new state government. It also means having a stronger voice when we’re lobbying government and more power in negotiations for future agreements.

That’s why it’s important to address the fact that there is an important state election with polling day tomorrow (Saturday 26 November).

According to the Victorian Electoral Commission nearly 40% of Victoria’s eligible voters have already cast their ballots.

As mentioned in the last STAT Report, we would provide our assessment of the various health announcements from the major parties ahead of polling day.

Sadly, no major party has indicated additional support for allied health.

There have been no specific announcements about addressing the very real shortages in medical scientists, pharmacists, medical physicists, dietitians and audiologists.

Many of the health announcements have related to nurses and doctors. There are promises of significant investments in public hospitals with the major parties announcing investments in upgrading existing hospitals across the state as well as building new hospitals in high growth regions.

These announcements have not discussed, however, how the new public hospitals will be staffed given the shortages of staff across all our disciplines.

But there have also been processes commenced by the current Labor government – such as the important returning of all hospital pathology to the public sector – that would be imperilled if the Liberal National coalition were elected. With today’s announcement of a proposal to lease out water treatment services the Liberals have demonstrated that they have learned nothing about the perils of privatisation.

The Union is clear that we are not able to take the promises being offered by the Liberal National coalition at this year’s state election seriously.

Members should remember the last time the Liberal National coalition was in government they cut funding from healthcare.

Health services under the Liberals struggled to deliver the health care Victorians needed. They did not invest in hospital upgrades and did not bother to address issues in public health and hospitals in regional and rural Victoria. Yet somehow, we’re now to believe they will now invest in public hospitals in regional and rural Victoria and upgrade hospitals across the state?

They refused to invest in areas of high demand, like mental health, and refused to acknowledge the enormous workload pressures facing members. Even when invited to address meetings of members, they refused to acknowledge the staff shortages across our disciplines and the growing workloads.

We fear that a Liberal National state government would mean our significant work to increase staff numbers for medical scientists, psychologists and pharmacists will be wound back.

For these reasons, we encourage members to put the Liberal and National parties last.

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