Enterprise Bargaining Agreement 2016
New EBA Registered - 8 September 2016
The new WA Health - HSUWA - PACTS - Industrial Agreement 2016 was registered by the WA Industrial Relations Commission on Thursday 8th September 2016. A copy of the Agreement can be found here and a salaries flier here.
Archived updates follow below:
EBA 2016 UPDATE (2 AUGUST 2016) - MEMBERS VOTE YES TO NEW EBA
The EBA Ballot has now closed and members have made their decision on the pay and conditions offer from the Department of Health. Details of the offer can be found at the HSUWA website here
The vote was predominately conducted through the Survey Monkey ballot system, with a small number of paper ballots being sent to members without email addresses or who had notified the union that they could not open the Survey Monkey link.
We have analysed the voting results and the figures below are the combined totals of the electronic and paper ballots.
A total of 47.47% of eligible members voted.
88% voted YES
12% voted NO
Members have voted to accept the offer from the Department of Health. We have notified the Department by letter and will now work to update the Agreement and get it registered in the WA Industrial Relations Commission.
What happens next:
* The offer was accepted in principle by the union’s Committee of Management, subject to a ballot of members. The acceptance in principle of the offer means that the first pay increase will apply from 1 July 2016.
* All other changes will apply from the date of registration of the Agreement.
* Payment of any increase and the back pay cannot take place until after the new agreement is registered.
* Any employee who resigns from Health prior to the agreement being registered is not (legally) eligible to receive back pay.
* Casuals who have been employed continuously up to and including the date of registration will have to make a claim for back pay on a case by case basis.
* Once we know the date the Agreement is to be registered by the WA Industrial Relations Commission, the Department of Health Industrial Relations Service will work with Health Support Services to establish the dates for payment and back pay.
* Given the time required for finalisation of the Agreement and the lodgement process it may be September before the Agreement is registered.
Whilst the wage outcome of 1.5% per annum for the next two years is modest in comparison to that achieved in previous wage rounds, it is reflective of the state of the Western Australian economy and more than the CPI increase for Perth of 0.5% over the last twelve months (Source: ABS Consumer Price Index, Australia, June Quarter 2016, 6401.0)
Thank you to the Reps and members who have assisted in the EBA negotiations. Thank you also to all the members across WA who have voted in the EBA ballot.
EBA 2016 UPDATE (14 JULY 2016) - WA HEALTH EBA BALLOT INFORMATION
The purpose of this update is to provide members with sufficient information to support your decision to accept or reject the pay and conditions offer from the Department of Health in the EBA Ballot.
The EBA Ballot will be sent to you as a separate email on Friday 15th July 2016. The email will include a link to a Survey Monkey survey where you will be asked to vote YES or NO. Your vote will be encrypted and confidential. The ballot will close on Friday 29th July 2016.
If the union does not have an email address for you we will post you a paper ballot. If you have provided an email address to the union but do not have access to the internet or are unable to open the Survey Monkey link you will need to advise the union office.
Recommendation from the HSUWA Committee of Management
The Committee of Management of the union considered the offer from the Department in the context of the current economic and industrial relations circumstances, and recommend that members accept the offer from the Department of Health.
In the last round of EBA negotiations in 2014 members endorsed a strategy to focus on achieving the best wage increases possible. As most members will recall, following industrial action and arbitration we succeeded in this objective with increases of 3.75% from 1 July 2014 and 3.5% from 1 July 2015.
The economic and employment environment has changed rapidly over the past year with rising unemployment, flat wages growth, and the worst budget deficit and debt position in the State’s history.
Concentrating our efforts on getting the best salary increases that we could in 2014 meant that the other two key issues of concern to members, job security and workload management , were not able to be addressed. The importance of job security and workload management was confirmed in the union’s survey of members earlier this year, at workplace meetings, and in email , phone and personal conversations with members.
The proposed wage increases are modest but in the current economic environment any additional increase is likely to be paid for with members jobs. To achieve any improved offer would require a significant campaign of industrial action which seems at odds with the current mood of members. The Barnett Government have argued that our members are the best paid in the country, and we have to agree that our pay rates are very competitive with other State and WA Public Sector salaries.
The proposed improvements to the use of fixed term contracts in the new Agreement should assist in increasing the proportion of the workforce who are employed on a permanent basis. The new workload management provision is a recognition by the employer that work overload is a problem, and the proposed clause should assist in reaching fair and practical solutions.
A brief summary of the pay and conditions changes and some comments against each change can be found here.
EBA 2016 UPDATE (6 JULY 2016) - OFFER TO GO OUT TO BALLOT WITH MEMBERS
The Union has been negotiating with the Department of Health for a new Enterprise Agreement based on the Log of Claims that was endorsed at the Reps Conference held at the Perth Zoo on 7th April, see here.
I am pleased to advise that we received an offer for improved pay and conditions from Health on Friday 24th June. The offer was considered by the union’s Committee of Management on 29th June 2016. The Committee accepted the offer in principle subject to the endorsement of members via an electronic ballot. I decided that it was sensible to wait until after the hustle and bustle of the Federal Election to communicate the offer to members.
The pay increases that have been offered, subject to acceptance by a ballot of members, are 1.5% from 1 July 2016 and 1.5% from 1 July 2017. This is in line with State Government Wages Policy. The offer is for a two year agreement expiring on 30 June 2018, the draft salaries schedule can be found here.
In addition to the wage increases there are new provisions relating to secure employment and workload management. These issues have been identified by workplace representatives and the members survey as being of high importance.
A summary of the other improvements included in the offer can be found here.
There will be a round of workplace meetings in the Metro area and a teleconference with country members, details can be found here.
There will be an electronic ballot of members, this will be in two steps:
1. You will receive a first email which will explain the terms of the proposed agreement, consider the implications of voting yes or no , and provide a recommendation to members. This will also tell you when to expect to receive the ballot and the closing date for the vote.
2. An email ballot will be sent to members. Please note – if you cannot open the links in this email then you need to contact the union at firstname.lastname@example.org or 9328 5155 to request a paper ballot to be sent to your home address. Members who have not provided the union with an email address, or are already on our newsletter mailing list, will be sent paper ballots. If you receive an electronic ballot and cannot vote we will send you a paper ballot.
There is some additional information about the process from here which covers what happens after the ballot closes, see here.
You can of course contact the union office on 9328 5155 or email at email@example.com if you would like to discuss the offer and its implications for you.
Thank you for your continuing support, I hope to see many of you at the meetings or talk with you in the country teleconference.
EBA 2016 UPDATE (30 MAY 2016) - NEGOTIATIONS PROGRESSING
Some quick background, the current agreement which covers your pay and conditions expires on 30th June 2016. The last agreement yielded pay increases of 3.75% from 1st July 2014 and 3.5% from 1st July 2015. In January this year we surveyed members online, and then started a round of workplace meetings. This process culminated in a Reps conference at the Perth Zoo in early April which endorsed the log of claims.
The union have received a pay offer from the Department of 1.5% from 1st July 2016, and a further increase of 1.5% from 1st July 2017 and another 1.5% from 1st July 2018.
The Department’s pay offer acknowledges that there are other claims which the union have made, and these are the subject of current negotiations.
While we are working in a difficult negotiating environment, there are a number of no-cost / low cost improvements that can be made to the Agreement and some that are likely to deliver both improvements for members and operational efficiency savings for the employer. In accordance with the member survey outcomes, we are placing emphasis on the claims for secure employment and workload management and a range of other claims that are of particular importance to members.
The negotiations to date have been efficient and reasonably productive. We have now provided the Department with the key proposed changes to the agreement and explained the rationale and justifications for the claims.
The responses to some of the claims have been predictable, the Department say the claims would cost too much and are unaffordable in the current environment. We continue to negotiate!
Our aim is to meet the deadline and maintain an effective date of 1st July 2016 for the next pay increase, and to be able to present a negotiated offer to members which addresses the key issues of maintaining the value of wages, improves employment security and workloads, and meets the reasonable expectations of key groups of members.
EBA 2016 UPDATE (28 April 2016) – LOG OF CLAIMS
The union’s log of claims have now been served on the Department of Health. While there have been ongoing informal discussions about the issues in the claims, we will now commence the more formal stage of the negotiations.
The union has already received an offer from the Department of Health of 4.5% over three years. This will be responded to formally following negotiation of the union’s claims. A copy of the letter is attached here.
As an aside, it is interesting to compare the three year 4.5% offer to the recently announced 1.5% single year salary increase for politicians and the additional 2.9% increase in employer superannuation contributions gifted to our State MPs. State members of parliament effectively received a 4.4% increase this year, and now receive 15.4% super contributions.
In our consultations with members, we have been told time and again about how tough the financial situation is in Health, and how angry members are about the disastrous state of the Budget. In this environment our goals are to maintain the real value of members wages, and improve members job security and workload management.
Since the beginning of the year the union has been consulting extensively with members about the claims for pay, secure employment, workload management and conditions in 2016.
This is a vital part of the process of securing a new Agreement with the Department of Health. These are your claims, determined through an exhaustive process of member engagement and consultation.
We started with an online survey in January which had over 600 responses. There was no doubt from the survey that job security and workload management were the two key issues in 2016.
We followed this with meetings at all major metropolitan sites during February and March. These meetings strongly supported the job security and workload management views expressed in the survey.
The other takeout from these processes was that members were (painfully) aware of the budget constraints in Health, and had realistic and fair goals to maintain the current value of salaries through the life of the Agreement.
Consultation with country members was via a mixture of visits to some sites, a statewide teleconference, and extensive calls and email exchanges.
This effort culminated in a Reps Conference held on 7th April at the Perth Zoo. The Reps considered the draft log of claims, made amendments and additions, and passed resolutions in support.
The resolutions recommended the draft log of claims to the union’s elected Committee of Management. The Committee endorsed the claims unanimously and have directed that formal negotiations with the Department of Health should start immediately.
We know that members achieved a great result on salaries in 2014, and are keen to maintain their place as the overall best paid in Australia. Members have also strongly supported improved job security and workload management.
We will negotiate with the Department and Government in good faith, but for any negotiation to succeed it requires some give and take. If they will not seriously consider our reasonable claims, then talking may not be enough.
I urge you to volunteer to help us organise to get the best possible agreement we can. To do so please contact Reps@hsuwa.com.au
Yours in Union