Several members reported to the HSU that during recent very hot days, where temperatures exceeded 40 degrees, temperatures in the Chattery were extremely high, with staff unable to find relief during their meal breaks. This was brought to the attention of the Ryde Hospital Executive by the HSU.
An additional ceiling fan is now being installed and a water cooler provided. It was also agreed that temperatures in the Chattery would be monitored and the feasibility of air conditioning assessed.
Members’ own electrical appliances have now been returned to them and replaced with new appliances, due to increased use of the Chattery by Wardspersons and Graythwaite staff.
A sliding wall partition, never previously opened until recently, and which provided options to change the configuration of the dining area into a large and small, quiet area, suitable for small meetings, quiet space and privacy, has been permanently locked open by management, reducing the flexibility of the total space. The option to open the partition is reasonable, especially if it allows a few extra staff to use the area, while COVID social distancing requirements are in place.
However, the HSU is opposed to members being unable to close or open the folding doors, as they wish. It is their amenity and they should be able to choose how they configure it, as long as there is compliance with social distancing.
The HSU has put this argument to management and expects that this action is temporary only and will be reviewed in the new year, when social distancing rules may again be relaxed. Choice and flexibility is paramount, as long as safety is not compromised. In this case, it is clear that safety is not in jeopardy and choice must be restored. If you share other members’ objections to this restriction please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 478 679.
A union’s effectiveness and negotiation power depends on the strength and density of its membership base. Talk to your workmates about becoming a member of the Health Services Union and help us continue to protect a safe and fair workplace and improve your working life. Encourage them to join online at www.hsu.asn.au/join or phone 1300 478 679.