A proposed real pay cut for staff of major x-ray and diagnostics provider Healthcare Imaging Services (HIS) is appalling hypocrisy considering company profits surged 29% in the past year.
CEO of parent company Primary Health Care, Dr Ed Bateman said the huge lift in company profits to $150 million in the last financial year was ‘driven by organic revenue and margin gains across all major divisions’.
Despite their contribution to a jump in company profits, Health Professionals at HIS are being offered a new Enterprise Agreement that contains a real pay cut of 10%, the VHPA estimates.
“The company’s pay offer is significantly less than inflation and will see the living standards of Health Professionals go backwards,” said Craig McGregor, Secretary of the Victorian Health Professionals Association which represents the HIS staff.
“This miserly pay offer is appalling hypocrisy on the part of HIS management.”
“It is an insult to staff whose hard work and productivity has generated the company’s profits.”
A recent memorandum to staff by Dean Lewsam, Victorian State Manager of HIS, states “The Company in making this offer has had to consider what is sustainable in wage increases and is committed to working with employees to ensure growth for the business and job stability.”
“This is somewhat misleading and certainly disingenuous. The State Manager is failing to acknowledge the contribution of staff to the company’s strong performance and wrongly suggesting a reasonable pay increase is not affordable.”
“Not only is HIS highly profitable, the CEO of parent company Primary Health Care, Dr Ed Bateman earned more than $1.5 million last year and is one of Australia’s richest people,” said Craig McGregor.
According to Business Review Weekly magazine, Dr Ed Bateman’s personal wealth increased from $420 million to $480 million last year thanks to a cost-cutting program that pushed up the value of his shares. His salary from Primary Health Care has risen by 60% in just two years.
“Health Professionals at HIS don’t begrudge Dr Bateman his wealth and his racehorses, they just want their work respected with decent pay and fair working conditions,” said Craig McGregor.
Fair Work Commission approves protected action
An application by the VHPA to undertake protected industrial action at HIS has been approved by the Fair Work Commission. With Health Professionals fed up with the failure of HIS management to make a reasonable offer for their next Enterprise Agreement, last week the VHPA sought approval for a ballot of members.
“The Fair Work Commission rejected attempts by HIS management to change the format of the ballot and approved our application,” said Linda Jenkin, VHPA Lead Organiser.
Members at HIS will now be asked to vote on whether they want to undertake industrial action and what sort of action they support.
“Now is the time for any Health Professionals at HIS who are not currently a financial member of the VHPA to join.
“HIS management are very stubborn and this is a tough Enterprise Agreement campaign. Your colleagues need your support.”