As members would be aware, your HSU representatives have been in disputation with HealthShare in relation to the provision of the shoe allowance for food services staff.
Following member activity in protest to HealthShare’s position that could have resulted in approximately 900 Food Services staff losing the allowance, your HSU representatives have secured the following proposed undertakings from HealthShare .
That Food Services staff receiving the ‘shoe allowance’ as at the date of notification of being in dispute (being 27 August 2020) will continue to receive the shoe allowance.
That staff working in wet areas (such as dishwasher areas or trolley wash bays) will on request be provided with gumboots by HealthShare NSW. What is determined to be a wet area will be determined by agreement with the employer (ie Sector Manager) and the HSU.
That the HealthShare Policy will be less prescriptive in regard to the type of shoe which staff should wear in the workplace. In particular, it is proposed that the sentence ‘They must be of a solid colour and conservative in nature, e.g. black, brown, and navy’ be removed from the policy.
These undertakings secure the shoe allowance for staff who have been receiving it. In addition, the undertaking give HealthShare Food Services staff the ability to be provided with gumboots on request.
The provision of gumboots can not only improve safety when working in wet areas but also prevent the increased degradation of leather shoes that occurs when they get wet on a regular basis.
The change in wording for the policy to remove the requirement for solid colour etc will hopefully allow members a broader range of shoe options, therefore increasing the chances of finding cheaper and/or more comfortable shoes.
If members have any questions or concerns about the provision of gumboots or the shoe policy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to your local Organiser.
As with all allowance disputes that have occurred over the previous few years, it is clear that the current Awards are in dire need of being re-negotiated and updated. The vagueness and poor wording of Award clauses, especially in relation to Allowances, has consistently prevented quick and fair resolution to allowance disputes.
We encourage all members to continue to participate in our campaign to get the government to end its unfair wages policy and fix the Awards.
This type of campaign can only be won with high union membership, encourage your workmates to join online www.hsu.asn.au/join or phone 1300 478 679.