It’s been an incredible year for HSU members and standing up for what you know is right.
We’ve seen some epic struggles, equal to any in this union’s history. And we’ve seen amazing cohesion and resilience from HSU members at a time when employers have tried their hardest to undo us.
Our union is larger than it has ever been, and I’m so proud of this strong and diverse assembly of workers from every corner of health, aged care, disability services and ambulance.
We celebrated a major win this year with the establishment of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Healthcare Funding – a landmark effort to uncover spending arrangements and clear blockages in our health system. This would never have happened if HSU members hadn’t stood shoulder to shoulder and demanded it.
Our public health membership has proved it can stand up to any challenge. Standing together, members have shattered the NSW Public Sector Wages Cap, paving the way for significant award reform to overhaul the working conditions and entitlements that govern every job in our public health system. It’s long past time that members had a say in outdated job descriptions.
In aged care, members celebrated the fruits of their labour with Fair Work’s 15% increase arriving in pay packets from June 30. This will make a massive difference in the lives of aged care workers and the people they look after – but the job’s not over. This December, aged care members are back in the Commission, continuing the fight for the full 25% for all workers in the industry.
Ambulance members have seen the culmination of a massive multi-year campaign for professional recognition, going toe to toe with a nonresponsive government. When the Premier and Treasurer tried to walk away from ongoing pay negotiations, members undertook an unprecedented campaign, threatening to boycott professional registration until they were paid as professionals. Their commitment and commonsense arguments resonated with the media and the public, dragging the government back to the table.
Members in private pathology are standing on the cusp of a massive campaign to change the face of the industry and win recognition for the vital work they do every day. Meanwhile, ongoing enterprise agreement negotiations in every corner of private health continue to advance conditions for health workers in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.
Disability services has been highlighted recently, with the outcomes of the Royal Commission and the NDIS Review filtering through. Members are fighting hard to improve their own lives and those of their clients – let’s put the heart back into the NDIS.
Congratulations for your dedication in every area of this great union. I wish you and your family a happy and safe festive season.