Message from the Assistant Secretary Lauren Hutchins

  • Published June 15, 2022

It’s been a bit nerve wracking writing this message – my first as an Assistant Secretary alongside the incredible Lynne Russell.

Words don’t seem to do justice to the tenacity and grit of the HSU members I have spoken with over the last couple of months.

Take Lindy, an aged care worker of over 30 years. When she heard about the Fair Work Commission’s interim decision on our Aged Care Work Value case, she was initially furious – then determined to unite members in the fight for the full 25% for all workers.

Or Kat and Sue, delegates at Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, who stuffed thousands of envelopes to take on their multinational employer to provide a better pay offer, building up union membership in Queensland at the same time as forcing the company to pay an additional $2 million in sign on ‘bonuses’.

There’s Tess, a paramedic who has campaigned for victims of domestic violence to be able to access paid leave. Finally, in November, the hard work that Tess and her fellow activists put in paid off when the Federal Government legislated 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave.

And Tina and Tony from Westmead Hospital who, in a room full of politicians, fiercely advocated for decent wages and conditions for all essential health workers, to undo outsourcing in our public hospitals and ensure that workers get their full salary packaging benefit.

These are but of few of the stories of HSU members who refuse to give up and are united in our fight for something better. I haven’t even scratched the surface! Every one of the tens of thousands of HSU members has a story about the fight for a better system for patients and aged care residents, for workers, and for the community.

It’s been an amazing couple of months with members showing yet again the sheer determination that sets HSU members apart. And we will need every part of it as we take on the challenges of 2023, as always united and stronger together.