Private Sector Update 1 May 2020
Friday 01 May 2020
Private Hospitals: After the cessation of most elective surgery the union received many enquiries from members with concerns about their employer wanting to change their contractual entitlements. The drop off in activity in the hospitals meant employers were directing employees to take leave and reducing hours of work, with significant ramifications to our members and their families.
In addition to supporting those members who asked for individual assistance, last week the union sent out a survey to members employed by St John of God Hospitals and Ramsay HealthCare requesting information about how members have been affected by the changes in their workplaces. We included an FAQ about specific entitlements and processes that apply under their enterprise agreements. We are hoping as many members as possible complete the survey so we can act on the results with the employers.
Due to flattening of COVIOD-19 curve we welcome the return of elective surgery which should allow for some normality and a return to work. Employers and the state government have given assurances that there is adequate PPE available to provide for safe elective surgery and ensure the safety of HSUWA members. This assurance is critical to both our private and public hospitals.
Aged Care: The federal government has recently mandated that every person who enters a residential aged care facility must have received an influenza vaccination – effective from 1 May 2020. If members have issues or concerns, please contact the union.
Members have reported a number of aged care providers are continuing to pursue changes during COVID-19 to contracted hours, their skills mix and workloads.
Disability: The HSU together with the ASU and UWU this week made an application to the Fair Work Commission to vary the Social Community Home Care and Disability Services Award. The application is to introduce a temporary allowance of an additional $5.00 an hour during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pathology: The sector has been on a roller coaster ride in recent months, with many employers experiencing a significant business downturn. Many Collection Centres closed in recent weeks with members being requested to reduce hours and take annual and long service leave. The union win at Western Diagnostic Pathology where the employer endeavoured to cease accrual of leave is here.
While there has been some recovery there is still much to be managed and retaining employment is a challenge for many employees. Members in these areas may be able to access JobKeeper payments if the employer has successfully applied. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact the union.
We ask that members in the private sector stay vigilant and informed about their safety and rights, as this crisis and its effect on workplaces evolves.