It’s a particularly exciting time to be part of the HSU.
Working together, members have achieved an extraordinary amount these last few years. While aged care workers await the outcome of the HSU’s Work Value Case with bated breath, ambulance members are celebrating an historic injection of staff following a concerted campaign. It seems everywhere you look in our great union, great deeds are being done.
But it hasn’t always been this way. Not so very long ago, the union faced its challenges. Thankfully, the power of members working together reversed the fortunes of the HSU and laid down a path into the future.
This May, the HSU made aged care an election issue that was important enough to change the government if the public wanted to see any change in the system. Thanks to the work of HSU members who advocated at the top of their voices, voters saw a choice between apathy and action. On the line: vulnerable Australians who need help.
Due to the determination, dedication and drive of the HSU membership, we’re now on the verge of achieving a landmark outcome for aged care workers across the country. And in the context of a population that is getting larger as it gets older, it’s never been so crucial to the wellbeing of the country that we safeguard the wellbeing of members who care for those that need the support – to recognise and reward them properly.
The recovery and upward trajectory of the HSU is the theme for a new book now being drafted. While a number of unions across the country have suffered the depredations of apathy and the collapse of industries, the HSU has gone from strength to strength following its setback. It’s a story that bucks the trend and hints at stronger hopes for the Australian union movement.
It’s never been more important to change the narrative, reframe social pressure and place the burden of responsibility back where it belongs – not on the worker, but on governments and employers who try to evade accountability.
The HSU’s recovery, and the outcomes for workers which have followed closely on its heels, have been a boon for health and aged care workers and for Australian unionism in general. Let’s continue to escalate our concerns to the highest level and forge a happy and sustainable future for workers in Australia.