workinprogressThe VHPA continues to advance the interests of members involved in the HIS dispute. Over the last fortnight management have been forced to lift the lock out and return to the bargaining table.

The 8th April bargaining meeting saw management increase their miserly offer of two 1% rises over the course of the agreement to an initial increase of 2% followed by two 1% pay-rises. A follow up meeting saw this offer increase again to an initial 2% increase followed by two 1.5% increases.

These improvements reflect the solidarity and good work of members however there is clearly much work to do.

The current proposal remains well short of the industry standards, is less than that offered in the last round of negotiations and would seem members lose a sizeable proportion of their sick leave.

VHPA Members have voted overwhelmingly to reject the offer and recommence industrial action.

New notices were served to management on April 9th and Protected Industrial Action, including work bans and stop work meetings, recommenced on 15th April.

In response, HIS Management has embarked on a roadshow, visiting all Victorian sites, in an attempt to sell their message. Members assumed that this was to convince them that this ‘final’ offer was indeed final however, in one of the first meetings to date, staff at one site were offered three increases of 3% (which mirrors the pay-rises in the previous HIS agreement) – considerably more than the ‘final offer’ communicated to the Union and staff by HIS Management only the day before!

The next mass stop work is today (Thursday 17th April). The expectation is that this action will impact on all HIS sites, including regional sites where members have previously participated in bans but not stoppages.

HIS have indicated that they intend to put the Agreement out to the vote in the coming week. This will of course be met by a vigorous “Vote No” campaign by HIS Members.