Negotiations continue to resolve issues surrounding the $15 million attached to the Public Sector EBA. The original agreement, which included provision for a reclassification review, was reached while the Union’s Branches were one entity: HSUeast. The de-merger process, which saw the re-creation of HSU Branch No.1, HSU Branch No. 3 and HSU NSW, has had a significant impact on the deal: where there were 3 bargaining parties there are now 4. And, obviously negotiations could not begin in earnest until the management of Branch 1 was finalised. This occurred in late December 2012.
Despite these challenges the parties have been working closely in an effort to conclude negotiations in an equitable and timely manner. Career pathways and retention considerations are central to these discussions. We will be providing regular updates and greater detail on negotiations as they progress.
It is vital however that all Health Professionals are aware of the process associated with the classification review (I strongly encourage all members to read clause 11 in the Victorian Public Health Sector EBA 2011-2015). The review (often referred to as Better Structures / Better Care) will go to ballot. That is, all employees covered by the current public sector EBA will have the opportunity to approve or reject any proposed variation. We must be ready to turn out in numbers if we are to have our voice heard—there are approximately 8000 Health Professionals covered by this agreement and some 40,000 Health & Allied Services, Managers and Administrative Officer employees covered (those under Branch 1).