RECENTLY the managers of a Community Health Centre in Melbourne’s northeast sent their Health Professional employees a misleading and inflammatory email.

This email falsely implied that the Union has abandoned negotiations.

The fact is, the VHPA have taken, and continue to take, the lead in negotiations. We have offered to ‘drop everything’ to facilitate negotiation sessions and are prepared to meet on weekends and evenings—whenever required. We are acutely aware that members have been between agreements for some three years now and seek to conclude negotiations as soon as possible.

We will not however sacrifice a good outcome for expediency. The impact of such a myopic approach would be felt for years to come.

The current offer is, by any measure, sub-par in terms of wages and conditions. Community Health Professionals are already thousands of dollars behind many of their colleagues and this offer would see them even worse off.

We reject the notion that Health Professionals working in Community Health are worth less than their peers in the public and private sectors and consequently have rejected the VHIA’s offer to roll-over the Community Heath Agreement.

We want recognition that Community Health Professionals are crucial to the provision of health care in Victoria and should be remunerated accordingly. We further want recognition that this group has not had a pay rise in nearly three years and that current job conditions are unacceptable. Importantly, we want to change the timeframe of the Agreement so that it no longer coincides with the Public Sector Agreement. The Community Health Agreement(s) demands the full attention of both the VHIA and the VHPA and this is not possible where resources are being split across different sectors.

We are determined to achieve an outcome that is both fair for employees and reasonable in terms of its budgetary impact on the Centres.

If you work in Community Health, please make sure you stay informed and that you get involved in the VHPA – after all, it’s your job that’s affected.

Kind regards

Craig McGregor, VHPA Secretary

>> For more information please call 1300 322 917