We recently saw an emphatic victory for Labor in the NSW election. This new government has gained power on a platform of change and much-needed relief for health workers – and HSU members are going to hold them to it.
The new government has made a series of commitments to public health workers and paramedics, including: removing the restrictive wages cap so that members can once again bargain for a fair wage; stopping the government from dipping into your salary packaging tax savings; updating horrendously outdated health awards and conditions; negotiating with paramedics on professional recognition; and underpinning it all, a Royal Commission into where health funding is being spent.
So far so good. HSU members have fought hard to extract these promises from Labor. But we will need to accelerate, not slow down, if we want to make sure promises become reality.
HSU know best about what your job is like, and what kind of pressures you’re under. No one is better qualified to fight for changes to your awards.
We are facing a period of frenetic activity, and I couldn’t be more enthused. HSU members all around the state will have input into what our claims will be while we drag your awards kicking and screaming into the 21st century. It’s a massive undertaking, but we will be ensuring that health workers once again have worthwhile jobs – and NSW once again has a health system to be proud of.
Aged care members are getting ready for another monumental push after the Fair Work Commission ordered the interim 15% increase to be paid on the 30th of June this year – not over two years, as the Federal Government was attempting to do. This is a huge win, but our objective remains the same. We need the full 25%, and we need it to apply to every single aged care worker – no one should be left behind. If we care about the future of elderly Australians, there is nothing more urgent than this.
Another HSU Conference is on the horizon. Delegates will be gathering together to formulate important plans and guide the direction of the Union. This year’s theme is Setting the Agenda, showing just how strongly HSU members are guiding public policy. We’ve succeeded in placing so many issues of importance squarely on the agenda, and we’re not about to stop now. We all have important work to do to improve the lives of health and aged care workers and their communities.