Pictured above some of your public sector bargain team: Andrew Hewat – VAHPA Assistant Secretary, Bernarda Cavka – Physiotherapist, Jo Ginn – Medical Imaging Technologist, Craig McGregor – VAHPA Secretary, Shelley Brown – Occupational Therapist.
VAHPA Secretary, Craig McGregor, has asked members to remain patient after receiving a significant number of calls urging the union to take industrial action in support of bargaining for a new public sector Enterprise Agreement.
A spate of members contacted VAHPA following moves by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) and the Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) to take action in support of their ongoing negotiations.
“I fully understand the impulse to take industrial action, particularly when the delays are not of our making. And of course members have every right to withdraw their labour, especially when such action is designed to improve healthcare for all Victorians” said McGregor.
The current public sector Agreement expired on 31 December 2015, leaving members without a wage increase for just on 12 months now. It is widely believed that the Andrews Government has delayed progressing wages talks while the nurses’ agreement remains unsettled.
“It is important to note that bargaining is progressing positively in a number of areas,” continued McGregor. “However talks around wages and updates to our antiquated classification structure—updates we believe are essential to the provision of effective healthcare—are progressing much more slowly than we want.”
“Industrial action is serious business and is certainly not our preferred option. We need to be sure that we have done all we can to achieve a fair and reasonable outcome before we take this step,” concluded McGregor.
VAHPA has committed to a mass meeting in mid April to provide members with a detailed update on negotiations and to seek instruction from members on how they intend to proceed.
Further details to follow.