VHPA Members working at Healthcare Imaging Services (HIS) sent a strong message to management last week by voting in favour of taking industrial action.
There was an excellent turnout for the vote with nearly 62% of eligible Members voting. Stronger still was the vote itself with 95% of Members voting YES.
The Protected Action Ballot covered 25 possible industrial actions ranging from displaying of Union material and not filling booking slots through to indefinite stoppages of work.
HIS Delegates will meet on Tuesday 18 February to plan the roll out of these actions, which will be preceded by Member meetings at key sites.
“It’s vital that Members are involved in which actions are taken at the various HIS sites to ensure maximum participation. No one knows better than our Members which actions will be most effective at each site and when the optimal time for each action is.” said Lead Organiser, Linda Jenkin.
HIS management seek to fracture employee unity
The Union understands that HIS management has been meeting with select groups of employees to offer them special pay arrangements and additional bonuses.
These offers are obviously attractive on some level—in large part because the majority of private radiology groups pay significantly more than HIS. However management might need to reconsider this distasteful approach. There has been a strong reaction on the part of members in the face of these offers. “We work together and fight together. We can’t be bought by a handful of coins.” Said one member.
Branch Secretary Craig McGregor is disappointed but not surprised by this approach. “These offers are offensive and are clearly born of the mistaken belief that our members care about nothing but hip-pocket outcomes.”
“On the contrary, VHPA Members at HIS have repeatedly indicated they want an Agreement which is equitable and reflects the value of all HIS staff,” Continued McGregor.
Growth and genuine unity
Membership growth has been extremely strong over the past few months and must be of significant concern to a management who appear to be clutching for negotiating straws.
VHPA Members, both new and longer term, are talking about building a unified and visible Union culture at HIS sites beyond the Agreement and into the future.
“We will get a good outcome at HIS. But the Agreement is only part of the process – not the end of it; we’re in there with our HIS Members for the long haul,” concluded Jenkin.