** Public Sector Health Professionals – Special Update**
VHPA goes to Fair Work over Better Structures, Better Care Review
The VHPA has lodged a dispute with the Fair Work Commission in an attempt to break the impasse over the ‘Better Structures, Better Care’ Classification Review for the Public Health Sector.
The move follows months of negotiations that have led to in-principle agreement on a series of valuable improvements to the pay, skills and career paths of Public Sector Health Professionals.
Final agreement has been frustratingly stalled by a late request from employers to delete a clause in the Enterprise Agreement covering ‘Chief Structures’.
The VHPA is concerned that the mooted restructure would have far-reaching ramifications for career progression and management of all Health Professional groups.
“The deletion of sub-clause 29.2 would effectively undermine all the gains we have made in the Review,” said Craig McGregor, VHPA Secretary.
“We are not opposed to negotiating around managerial flexibility but will not agree to this wholesale shift which could very well pave the way for a radical transformation in years to come.”
“Taking the matter to the Fair Work Commission is a last resort but should bring resolution to this matter and allow the benefits of the reforms to flow on to members as soon as possible.”
The hearing is to begin on 20 December before Deputy President Hamilton.
Agreed outcomes of the Review
In-principle agreement has been reached on a broad-ranging package of Review outcomes with the VHIA on behalf of the public hospital employers, including:
- An additional increment at the current top of Grade 2 for all Health Professionals covered by the VHPA.
- New job classifications and career structures for Radiation Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Sonographers and Clinical Coders.
- Better access to Study Leave and Time Off In Lieu for conference leave undertaken on weekends.
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) allowances from $150 to $400 a year—with the greater sum going to HPs classified at Grade 3 and above.
- An additional 11 Clinical Educator positions to be employed at worksites across the State.
We will continue to keep members informed of any progress with the Review negotiations.
>> For further background, see page 25 of our Special Report to Members: