The HSU has won a significant regrade dispute in the Central Coast Local Health District.
Members employed as Diagnostic Radiographers within the District had recently applied for a regrade to Diagnostic Radiographer Level 4 Grade 1. These members had completed their master’s degree in accordance with the progression criteria of the Health Employees Medical Radiation Scientists (State) Award.
This regrade should have been automatic following the production of the relevant documentation and given that these members had completed three years’ clinical experience. The Award is clearly set out to reward employees who invest time and money on improving their skills, while the employer benefits by having more skilled employees.
Unfortunately, while management have acknowledged the above progression still applies as it always has, they recently decided members can only progress to Diagnostic Radiographer Level 4 Grade 1 if there is a vacant position available and the employee has won the position on merit.
This unilateral reinterpretation of the Award was unacceptable to the HSU and we sought the assistance of the Industrial Relations Commission to adjudicate the matter.
During the proceedings, management suggested they had the support of the Ministry of Health in their interpretation of the Award – despite no one from the Ministry appearing.
In response to the HSU’s argument, management finally agreed to regrade these employees accordingly and back date the regrade to the date of completing the master’s degree.
Congratulations are due to these members for standing firm. If you know someone who isn’t an HSU member, let them know the Union can offer advice and support. New members can join at www.hsu.asn.au/join or call 1300 478 679.