Public Holidays Small Mercies Poorly Managed

The VAHPA Member Assist Team deals calmly and professionally with hundreds of calls and emails from members each week. There are certain times of year however when this stream of queries (challenging but generally manageable) instantly transforms into a raging torrent of impossible queries and paradoxical outpourings… These are the public holiday horrors. 

So how can you be sure that you are being paid correctly? Are you getting the correct amount of time off? Let the VAHPA Member Assist Team help; get in touch. We are there for you come rain, hail or flood. 

During the last round of public sector bargaining, VAHPA put forward an array of new clauses to simplify and clarify the public holiday debacle. But we were unable to win the hospitals or the state government over to our way of thinking. This is notoriously difficult industrial terrain. So here we all are… with our antiquated and obscure public holiday clauses… a poor fit for the unbearably complicated arrangement of shifts we are forced to work (designed in large part to minimise wage costs wherever possible). It takes a team of specialists to make this work.   

Many workers suffered during the last round of public holidays (across the Christmas and New Year period). Some were paid illogically, some were underpaid, others missed out on leave and some went without pay at all. Thankfully many of these workers did the right thing and called on the VAHPA Member Assist Team for help. We worked with many of you to resolve these issues and others and we achieved favourable outcomes across the board. Sadly though, many workers opted to go it alone or simply put up with the mess. 

The Easter tide is on the way; we encourage all VAHPA members to keep one eye on their pay slips and the other on the relevant enterprise agreement. If you believe that an error has been made, please make contact with the Member Assist Team so that we can talk through your issue and work with you to resolve any issues. And make sure you know what you are getting into before agreeing to work on a public holiday.  

Finally, Australians deserve their public holidays; we do about $70 billion worth of unpaid overtime a year. Take your breaks, you deserve them and so do your friends and families. The truth is, that we are going to have to adopt the 4-day working week at some point in the near future if we are to cope with the changing nature of work in a way that is close to fair and equitable. For now, take your public holidays or at the very least make sure you are properly paid

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