Public Sector Agreement Update

Friday 15 May 2020

Negotiations with the Health Department for a new Agreement continue. These discussions have been based on the union’s log of claims.

We are hoping to get to a good position in the coming weeks with an offer to present to members for consideration.

We have reasonable certainty that the government’s wages offer will be $1, 000 per annum, in accordance with current policy and it will be a two-year agreement.

This reflects what the teachers union have put to a ballot of their members. We understand that they have some improvements to safety and workload management and in some other areas. Other public sector unions report similar discussions with government.

At a national level it is concerning that some States and the Federal Government have chosen to freeze public sector pay increases.

For example, in NSW, Police Officers face a pay freeze while the Police Commissioner gets an $87, 000 a year pay increase. Freezing pay, cutting pay, or reducing hours, is not the way to maintain demand in our economy or restore economic confidence.

Similarly cutting programmes such as JobKeeper and returning unemployment benefits to $40 per day would impede the recovery, consign hundreds of thousands of people to poverty, and effectively punish the victims. ‘We’re in this together’ shouldn’t become ‘everyone for themselves’. The value of quality public services has been laid bare in this crisis.

In this environment members may reasonably want to achieve some certainty in their pay, conditions, and job security.  Our discussions with government at all levels indicates there is a continuing willingness to engage and a recognition of the value of the work of members.

We need this to translate into a committed pathway to reduce insecure employment arrangements across Health.

There is a still a long and uncertain path out of the pandemic crisis and back to whatever the ‘new normal’ will be, we remain confident about the future of members employment.

In addition to working with the Committee of Management of the union, we expect to be able to meet shortly with Workplace Reps both face to face and via Zoom.

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