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SNSWLHD Restructure: HSU lodges dispute over consultation

Dear member,

On Monday 14 September 2020, the HSU lodged a dispute notification with the NSW Industrial Relations Commission regarding the consultation process that has been proposed by Southern NSW LHD.

At a meeting three days earlier on Friday 11 September 2020, SNSWLHD management had set out its timetable for consultation with all health unions regarding the proposed restructure. Having given health unions only 24 hours to absorb a 458-page document, they were of the view that we were ready to commence consultation. 

The HSU, along with NSWNMA and ASMOF, disputed the proposed attempt to force a consultation process which is out of step with the established consultation processes. These established consultation processes require that where major workplace change is being proposed, a Union Specific Consultative Committee (USCC) should be created. Having provided your union representatives with guarantees that once the proposed restructure was ready to be released, they would engage in open consultation via the USCC process, the employer reneged on these guarantees last Friday. Management representatives at the meeting refused to engage in the traditional USCC process, instead insisting they would dictate the terms of consultation and the timetable.

The process proposed by SNSWLHD is not good enough. HSU members’ views need to be heard in a fair and transparent USCC process, as is the traditional manner of conducting consultations, and is provided for in policy. 

On Tuesday 15 September 2020, the NSW IRC notified the parties that our dispute will be heard by the Commission on Tuesday 6 October 2020. In the interim the HSU NSW has invoked the status quo, which means that no steps should be taken to implement the restructure until the matter is resolved with the assistance of the Commission. The HSU NSW is fighting to ensure that all 219 members affected by the restructure can be represented in a fair consultative process.

Do you know someone who isn’t yet a member of the HSU? Encourage them to join and have their say. It’s never been more important for health workers to stand together and look out for each other. Join online at www.hsu.asn.au/join or call 1300 478 679.