Update: Technical Officers with degrees case against the Ministry of Health (NSWHP & SCHN)

On Friday 19 January, the Ministry of Health (on behalf of NSW Health Pathology and Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network) took the extreme step of asking the Industrial Relations Commission to vary the Hospital Scientist Award, as part of its attempt to avoid properly paying Technical Officers that hold degrees and do scientific work.

The Ministry of Health have tried this trick before – and failed, wasting huge amounts of public money instead of paying workers properly. The HSU has made it clear that members do not agree with this approach. Union members have provided alternatives to the Ministry, but the Ministry are not listening to the experts.

You can read the Ministry’s proposed variation here.

What they are proposing may:

  1. Give the employer more power to prevent employees moving from the Technical Officer classification to Hospital Scientist.
  2. Increase the type and level of work required of Hospital Scientists.
  3. Require Hospital Scientists to take on the duties of Senior Hospital Scientists. This would make progression more difficult.
  4. Make it more difficult for managers to determine an individual’s grade because of the use of vague language.
  5. Result in lower rates of pay overall for those with degrees doing scientific work.
  6. Result in some Hospital Scientists moving backwards if they change positions despite doing the same duties.
  7. Result in some individuals being paid at a higher rate than their colleagues despite doing the same work.

HSU members will continue to push back against the Ministry’s misguided and inappropriate attempt to undermine your conditions. HSU members are united in fighting for Technical Officers that do scientific work and hold degrees to be properly classified as Hospital Scientists.

We need your views on the Ministry’s proposal. Please email your views to [E-Mail not displayed] with the subject line Hospital Scientist Award Variation.

You can read earlier newsletters about this matter here:

  1. Groundhog Day for Technical Officers & Hospital Scientists: Awards under attack (again)
  2. Scientific and Technical Officers - We want to hear from you!