The VHPA and staff Delegates at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service have been negotiating since March. Negotiations have stalled despite a no vote on the Agreement. Management are refusing to budge on the issues that are key to staff – a guarantee of two consecutive days off a week unless mutually agreed, the option of FWC arbitration in the Agreement and a fair wage increase in line with the average for the sector.
Members have been taking Protected Industrial Action at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service for the last few weeks. Actions have included distributing campaign posters and flyers, wearing VHPA t-shirts, refusing overtime and a series of stop work actions.
This Tuesday members will be participating in a four-hour stop work from 12pm to 4pm, with a BBQ and rally from 12pm to 2pm at the Melbourne Processing Centre on Batman St (West Melbourne). We encourage supporters to join us.
“Members are sending a strong message to Management that their current offer is not fair or reasonable”, said VHPA Organiser Jay Morrison. “Management need to improve their offer and value their staff, otherwise members will continue to escalate the actions”.
The campaign got media attention with a live on-air interview with 3AW’s Tom Elliott. You can listen to the * interview here: (3:24 min)
You can support your Health Professional colleagues by signing the online petition. Every signature results in an email to the Executive team and the Board of the Blood Service. Find the petition by clicking this link.
*Please note: In the on-air interview with 3AW’s Tom Elliott, the VHPA representative stated “The Blood Service is refusing to meet with the VHPA.” The VHPA would like to provide clarification on this issue.
On 20 August 2014 the VHPA telephoned the Blood Service and sent the Blood Service an email requesting a bargaining meeting. On 21 August 2014 the Blood Service sent the VHPA an email indicating that it was “not in a position to discuss meeting dates.”
Having not heard anything further from the Blood Service, on 3 September 2014 the VHPA sent the ARCBS another email requesting a bargaining meeting. On 5 September 2014 the VHPA sent another email to the Blood Service asking it to confirm the times it is available to meet for further bargaining meetings.
On 9 September 2014 the Blood Service sent the VHPA a letter which did not indicate times the Blood Service was willing to meet on, and instead stated it would “advise bargaining representatives of its availability for potential meeting dates in due course”.
Finally, on 2 October 2014, about a month and a half after the VHPA first requested another bargaining meeting, the Blood Service sent the VHPA an email indicating it was in a position to meet and continue negotiations, with a proposed meeting date of 14 October 2014, 55 days after the VHPA initially requested another bargaining meeting. As such, for 55 days the Blood Service was unwilling to meet with the VHPA.