Much of the ground-breaking work in Jurassic marine life was done by palaeontologist Mary Anning. Sadly, her name and the importance of her work has been obscured by the forces of patriarchy!

VAHPA Members are gearing up for a 4 August mass meeting in an effort to finalise the current round of public sector bargaining.

VAHPA is hopeful that the meeting will be a paid-meeting at which members can evaluate, debate and likely endorse a satisfactory offer. Alternatively, if the VAHPA bargaining team is not satisfied with the proposed offer and draft of the Agreement, it is expected that the meeting will be a stop-work meeting and the start of an intensive period of industrial action.

“Talks have progressed well since our last mass meeting on 30 June; we have made positive steps in many areas. But we still hold significant concerns on the issues of fixed-term contracts and advanced scope of practice,” said Branch Secretary, Craig McGregor.

“We have been fair and reasonable in all aspects of our bargaining, including on these issues. But we are not in a position to agree to anything that would undermine allied health professionals, their employment or their work,” said McGregor.

“We have generally kept this campaign out of the media so far however it is pretty clear that the advanced scope of practice issue is one that would have a great deal of media traction. This is complex work with high levels of risk, work that has traditionally been done by radiologists and orthopaedic surgeons for instance. It is our firm view that allied health professionals performing this work must have the experience and expertise necessary to do the job properly and they must be appropriately remunerated for that work,” concluded McGregor.

Having recently packed out Trades Hall, the meeting has been moved to the Athenaeum and is expected to be the largest meeting in the Union’s history.

“The Athenaeum is a great venue for this meeting,” noted Assistant Secretary, Andrew Hewat. “The place has a long and proud history of working with Unions and of course Athena is famous for fighting for causes that were right and virtuous! We just hope she can hold the numbers we are expecting,” concluded Hewat.

The VAHPA Campaign Team will again be calling all public sector members in the lead up to the meeting to talk through the relevant issues. While we appreciate that members are busy, it is important to understand that these calls are vital for the success of the Union and of the outcome of this round of bargaining. Please take the time to talk to your Union; after all it is your career at stake.

VAHPA is committed providing all members with relevant documentation (draft agreement, summary of major changes etc.) as soon as possible so that members are able to properly assess and debate their merits.

Lock the afternoon (2 – 4 pm) of 4 August into your diary; this meeting is essential.