VHPA members at Cohealth, Isis and Banyule Community Healthcare Centres have won the right to vote in favour of taking protected industrial action.

The win comes after a lengthy hearing before Deputy President Hamilton in the Fair Work Commission late last week.

The VHIA (employer representative) sought to defeat the application by arguing that the VHPA was engaging in pattern bargaining and not genuinely seeking to reach agreement—these challenges were dismissed by DP Hamilton who granted our applications.

“This outcome, as members will be aware, has been a long time coming,” noted Lead Organiser Linda Jenkin.

“Community Health Professionals are sick of being treated as second class citizens. There is no reason they should be thousands a year behind their colleagues; those they had wage parity with as recently as 2007,” continued Jenkin.

For more information on this appalling wage gap visit the Community Health in Crisis website here.

Employees need to get their join forms in to the VHPA by Friday morning if they want to be part of this important struggle—only members are entitled to take part in protected industrial action.

“Health Professionals are by definition committed to the provision of healthcare. They do not take industrial action lightly. It is clear however that the time to fight is now. We must ensure that workers are fairly and properly remunerated and we must ensure the viability of this vital sector,” concluded VHPA Secretary Craig McGregor.

The VHPA is seeking to negotiate Individual Enterprise Agreements with each of the stand-alone Community Health Centres.