Hospital Scientists push back against pay cuts

  • Published June 15, 2022

2022 was a big year for HSU pathology members and 2023 will be even bigger!

We entered 2022 with the prospect of a new award for Hospital Scientists which would have reduced pay and conditions, constrained career progression, and fundamentally changed the structure of laboratory career pathways.

Hospital Scientists across the state sent a clear message – we aren’t going to let this change occur. Under the diligent leadership of the HSU Hospital Scientists Industrial Advisory Committee, we came together across the state to research and coordinate a mammoth evidence response to management’s proposed changes.

Every member who came to meetings, every witness that shared their experience, and every staff member who contributed had a part to play. The case will be heard from February 20-28 next year, and we are confident that our combined efforts will result in a good outcome!

As we come to the close of 2022, the Hospital Scientist and Technical Officer Committees have focused on management’s most recent change – to qualification and accelerated progression policies. All Committee members agree these policy changes will hurt members across the state and we can’t allow them to pass unchanged.

The policies will have the following impact:

  • It will be more difficult for staff with science degrees to get Hospital Scientist roles.
  • It will be more difficult for Technical Officers to progress to higher levels.
  • Roles which traditionally Hospital Scientists perform will increasingly be replaced with Technical Officers.
  • It will constrain the ability of local laboratories to employ the right people for roles in their labs.
  • The Committees have agreed that any new policies should:
  • Reflect the Award qualification requirements.
  • Create progression for degree qualified Technical Officers to become Scientific Officers.
  • Retain recruitment autonomy for local laboratories and selection committees to meet the needs of their labs.

The HSU Technical Officer and Hospital Scientist Committees have endorsed a series of statewide mass meetings in the new year to update members and seek feedback on a list of positions to take into negotiations.

Throughout January, meetings will be held at the following major metropolitan hospital laboratories:

  • RPA
  • Westmead
  • RNSH
  • Liverpool
  • Prince of Wales
  • Nepean
  • Concord
  • John Hunter

Don’t worry if you don’t work at one of theses locations, we will also hold online meetings for those working in regional and smaller metro laboratories so you too can have your say!

The feedback members provide will be used in our Technical Officer and Hospital Scientist Committee meetings to form the basis for negotiations around managements newest policy proposal.

The Committee agrees that a clear and understandable policy is better than the current confusion. However, the new policy must reflect the needs and views of the members across the state who work in laboratories every day. These policies cannot and should not be cooked up in an ivory tower by non-scientific staff!