After a return to bargaining meetings where some minor progress was made, the second ‘final offer’ by HIS management was still sub-standard. Members rejected the offer and bans were reinstated. In addition, there were stoppages at a number of sites on Thursday 17 April. HIS responded by locking out 6 Members – 2 from Knox Private and 4 from The Avenue. This was followed by 2 Delegates at The Northern Hospital being locked out on Wednesday 23 April.
HIS Management is pressing ahead with a vote on an Agreement with the ballot expected within the next week to 10 days. The VHPA will be strongly encouraging HIS staff to vote NO to this Agreement. The agreement on offer is a backward step for HIS staff who stand to lose sick pay and have not seen a pay rise since their last agreement expired. This means that the agreement offers them less than a 0.83% per year on average since the expiry of the last agreement to the end of the new one. This is in stark contrast with the Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) which has gone up at an average of 2.65% since the 2010/11 year. Further it’s significantly less than most Enterprise Agreement outcomes negotiated by the VHPA recently with annual rises of over 3.25% being the norm. In contrast to the HIS offer, these Agreements contain little if any loss of conditions and many include backpay.
Put simply, there is NO measure on which the HIS Agreement does not represent a seriously sub-standard offer and a retrograde step for VHPA Members.
Delegates met on Thursday 24 April to determine the next steps in the campaign. Understandably, their focus is on both ending the lock-outs and achieving a strong NO vote.
Now more than ever before, VHPA Members at HIS need your support – they need to know that they are not in this alone.
Future fundraising events to support the locked out staff are about to be announced and we would encourage all Members to get involved; if you can’t attend one of these events, consider holding a HIS event in your workplace. If you’d like assistance with this, please contact Linda Jenkin on :firstname.lastname@example.org