Problem with the Public Sector agreement

Due to a technical error by the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association (VHIA), our new agreement cannot be approved.

We are absolutely livid and gutted that we have to start again because of this minor but fatal technical error made by the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association.

But there is some good news. We have secured a guarantee that the terms of settlement will not change. And we’ve asked the Victorian Government to ensure that the first scheduled wage increase; back pay and the good will payment are made before Christmas.

An agreed timeline will see ‘bargaining’ completed and a vote for the ‘new’ agreement finalised by 15 December 2016, with an application to the FWC to approve the agreement made the same day.

What is the technical matter holding up our agreement?

The technical error has resulted from critical mistakes being made by the VHIA and the Fair Work Act’s provisions being absurdly onerous and punitive. In effect, one employer out of 72, with one employee out of 5,575 employees covered by the agreement can bring the whole agreement down because of a technical administrative oversight.

The VHIA advised all employers that they needed to do this and provided them with a copy of the appropriate form. Unfortunately not all employers distributed this notice as required by the Act. It was the responsibility of the VHIA to follow this up and they failed to do so.

As a result, the Fair Work Commission is unable to approve our agreement without going through the formal bargaining steps again.

The Victorian Government, however, can make the wage payments in the timeframe that they would have if the agreement was approved . We’ve asked them to side with Victorian workers and not hide beyond an obscure piece of Commonwealth legislation.

We’re working hard to resolve this problem and we’ll keep you informed about what’s happening.

Questions? Get in touch with us via email or on (03) 9623 9623.

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