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VAHPA and the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association (VHIA) successfully concluded bargaining for a new Allied Health Enterprise Agreement at 12:45 pm yesterday—only an hour before a mass meeting of VAHPA members.

Over 600 allied health professionals attended the lively meeting held at the Athenaeum—the largest meeting in VAHPA’s history. Proceedings commenced with a report from VAHPA Secretary, Craig McGregor, on the final (impassioned and at times heated) bargaining meetings between the parties. Senior Industrial Officer, Alex Leszczynski, followed on by talking members through a preliminary draft of the new agreement including the wages outcome, conditional improvements and those areas where we made compromises.

The following motion was moved, seconded and discussed by the membership and officials before being unanimously endorsed  –

“The meeting supports the in-principle settlement negotiated between the Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association and the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association with Industrial Relations Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services on 04 August 2016 and as outlined at this meeting.

The meeting directs the Secretary to finalise a new Allied Health specific Enterprise Agreement in the agreed terms. The Secretary is further directed to provide members with a draft of the agreement as soon as practicable to facilitate due and proper consideration of the document prior to formal endorsement in accordance with the Act.”

Moved:                Brian Jessup
Seconded:          Cheryl O’Connor

Members then took to the streets for a celebration march to Treasury gardens. Despite the enthusiasm of the proto-revolutionary horde no cars were flipped. (See video below for further action)

Please note: yesterday’s meeting was a paid meeting; VAHPA members will not have their pay docked.
See below for further details on the agreed outcome.

Wages and Allowances
The following increases will apply to all current wage and allowance amounts during the life of the agreement:

  • From the first pay period on or after 04 August 2016 – 3.25 % general increase plus a targeted uplift (applied post-general increase) of $17.50 at the top of Grades 1, 2 and 3 or equivalent.
  • From the first pay period to commence on or after 01 November 2017 – 3.25% general increase plus a targeted uplift (applied post-general increase) of $17.50 at the top of Grades 1, 2 and 3 or equivalent.
  • From the first pay period to commence on or after 1 November 2018; 3% general increase
  • From the first pay period to commence on or after 1 November 2019; 3% general increase

A lump sum payment of $1561 is payable to full time employees and pro rata to part time employees on the commencement of the Agreement.

The extant CPD allowance is to be removed from the agreement and funding redirected into base salaries.

All other existing allowances will be increased in line with wage movements unless otherwise specifically agreed by the parties.

There is no simple means by which to summarise the changes to your conditions of work in this limited forum. This is due to the fact that the agreement has been comprehensively rewritten. Nonetheless, some of the key changes include:

  • A complete overhaul and unification of the many disparate salary schedules;
  • The rationalisation and updating of all classification descriptors;
  • The introduction of ‘advanced clinical’, ‘educational’, ‘managerial’ and ‘research’ areas of expertise for Grade 3 and 4 AHPs;
  • Time off in lieu to be paid at overtime rates;
  • Superannuation to be paid on the employer-paid parental leave;
  • Earlier access to, and more flexible, long service leave arrangements;
  • Part time employees to gain access to professional development leave;
  • The introduction of 20 days of paid Family Violence leave;
  • The introduction of a Union Matters clause – granting access to paid union training for instance;
  • Improved consultation, dispute resolution and discipline clauses;
  • The introduction of a transition to retirement provision;
  • St Vincent’s to have personal leave entitlement parity.
The Organising Team is currently working up a ‘Proposed Enterprise Agreement’ presentation that we hope to roll out over the coming fortnight, 15 to 26 August. Given the scale and complexity of the agreement rewrite VAHPA will be seeking paid leave for members to attend these presentations at their place of work.

What Next?
The parties are furiously working to finalise a full draft of the Agreement and hope to have this completed before the end of next week. Members will be sent a copy of the draft agreement for scrutiny as soon as possible.

The final draft agreement will concurrently be submitted to government for formal approval. Once government approval is given, the hospitals and the VHIA, in accordance with their legal obligations, will provide all relevant employees with a copy of the agreement for the seven-day access period. Employees will then have the opportunity to vote for or against the agreement via a confidential ballot. The agreement will then submitted to the Fair Work Commission for approval. All things going well, we would expect the agreement to commence operation mid to late September.


Thank you!
VAHPA would like to thank everyone who has played a role in achieving this fantastic outcome. Patients, Allied Health Professionals and all Victorians will benefit from the work you have done. You know who you are!
In unity, VAHPA

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