On the 9th of October, the HSU sub branch and members held a stop work meeting to stand up against HealthShare mismanagement at the John Hunter Hospital.
This action was taken after a series of meetings with HealthShare which failed to address longstanding workplace issues that have been continually raised since 2017. Previous sector management made it very clear they were not willing to work with the sub branch. This unfair and unreasonable behaviour meant industrial action was the only way forward.
Now, HealthShare have finally come to the table and have committed to establishing “special USCC meetings” which include HealthShare executives and your HSU representatives. There has been some progress at these meetings and management have finally taken the sub branch seriously.
Several issues have been raised and the sub branch now has information on the following issues:
Vacancies: HealthShare have produced the HSU with a staff establishment report. The branch is aware of the FTE vacancies in each area. They have committed to commence recruitment in January.
Annual Leave: HealthShare have recognised the handling of annual leave this year was unacceptable. Master annual leave planners are now displayed for all staff. Annual leave for January to October next year will be approved by December the 16th. Leave applications from October to January will be approved at some point in January 2021.
Leave forms: Previous management told members pay would be withheld if leave forms were not completed. This behaviour was abhorrent and has been ceased immediately.
Training: HealthShare are currently reviewing the Wardsperson training package and once we have some developments on this, we will review other classifications and their training procedures.
WHS: Work Health and Safety Representative meetings will be scheduled when the majority of HSRs are on shift. HealthShare will create a HSR roster for representatives to review. We are still discussing renumeration as per the WHS Act and will keep members updated with developments on this.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more issues, and these will be raised by Health Services Union representatives in future USCC meetings. If you want to raise an issue, please contact your delegates on site or your organiser Maddie Feledy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A union’s effectiveness and negotiation power depends on the strength and density of its membership base. This progress made has only come about because of members’ action and the commitment and leadership of the sub branch.
If we are to continue negotiating with management on these issues, we need the backing of all Patient Support Services staff. Encourage your workmates to join the HSU. Non-members can join online at www.hsu.asn.au/join or phone 1300 478 679.