UMail Health Edition - February 2012

Posted February 11, 2012 by Alex Scott

In this update for members in Health: Restructure of Health | EB8 employer ballot | Change management | Vacancy Management | HP Reviews

Restructure of Health

As reported earlier the government has proposed that workers have just two days next week to have a say on the restructure of Queensland Health.

That is why your union's representatives made it clear to both Queensland Health and the Premier to pause this process so that workers, the people who deliver world-class health services every day, have a full opportunity to have a say about these changes.

As a result of these communications the Premier has confirmed that the Queensland Government will not establish a department administratively or transfer staff through a Machinery of Government change, prior to the commencement of the caretaker period on 19 February 2012 or during the caretaker period itself. Instead, the Premier has stated that it would be a priority to implement this policy in the first 100 days of government should the current Government be re elected on March 24, 2012.

Health Council Delegates have endorsed the following key principles:

  • The commitment not to create the department or transfer staff prior to care taker period diminishes the requirement for detailed feedback prior to the 6th of February.
  • Together Health Council delegates have ongoing concerns regarding how these changes will effect members access to PBI status and will continue to seek assurances no one will be negatively affected.
  • A reliable and functional payroll system is of utmost importance and should continue to be the focus of proposals
  • After further discussion with members and delegates will develop response to the changes including further consideration of the Public Health area.

We will be updating members as more information comes to light. In the meantime we would encourage all members if you have any questions or feedback on the proposal to make comment directly to Health by using the following email address comments@health.qld.gov.au and if you could also cc these comments to your union office at health@together.org.au.

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EB8 employer ballot

Congratulations to all those who supported the EB8 Stronger Together campaign for a new collective agreement, wage increase and no loss of conditions. As previously reported Queensland Health is preparing to ballot all employees on the proposed draft agreement.

You can access the document and the pay schedules by using the following link http://www.health.qld.gov.au/eb/eb8/proposed-eb8.pdf

The employer ballot will be held between 16 February and 8 March. It is important that all union members vote in the employer ballot to ensure that the agreement can progress to certification and back-pay can be delivered on time.

To be entitled to the back pay and wage increases you need to be an employee of Queensland Health as at the date of certification in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. This process will still take several months so if you know of fellow members who are planning on retiring you may want to let them know this.

If you have any questions about the conduct of the employer ballot you can email Queensland Health management on eb@health.qld.gov.au.

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Change management

There has been a lot of change management occurring within health over the past months and this will be set to continue.

What can you do when faced with change management:

  • Know your rights as a union member you can ask your delegate or call Member Support during business hours on 1800 177 244 to check these.
  • Union members are provided support in situations where their jobs are threatened or changes made to their role descriptions. It is too late to join the union once you are in trouble.
  • No-one can change your position title or make significant changes to the structure of your workplace or to your role description without the following. A business case needs to be submitted to the local consultative committee for approval. These committees are made up of both Union representatives and management. An employee impact statement also needs to be submitted to these forums.
  • There are requirements under both the EB 7 and the HP agreements to consult if there is major change and also a change management process that has to be abided by which includes the tabling of both the business case and the employee impact statements.
  • You need to comment on the business cases provided by making management aware of your work, what it entails, how the areas operates and what the benefits to the public.
  • Stick together.

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Vacancy Management

Your union office has had several issues relating to non filling of vacancies and the replacement of staff at lower levels. Both the EB7 and the HP agreements are very clear on this issue. The Clause is called replacement of existing staff and if this is happening in your area please contact member support on 1800177244.

  • Base Grade Staff - that the process should commence within 3 days of retirement or resignation (whichever is sooner) and take no longer than one month
  • Other than Base Grade Staff - that the process should commence within 14 days of retirement or resignation (whichever is sooner) and should take no longer than three months.

The only exception to this is legitimate reasons to extend these arrangements such as seasonal issues such as Christmas. However is there is a proposal to extend the time limits this needs to be tabled at the Local consultative forum and agreed by both Union and Management representatives.

If you have concerns about change management or vacant positions in your area then contact health@together.org.au.

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HP Reviews

The decision has been made to employ an advocate to take individual cases before the QIRC under section 229, starting with the cases that have the best chance of success.

Your union office has been working through the review applications sent in by members to take the cases through to the QIRC that will have the best possible advantage for all members. Notification to the QIRC will be made on behalf of several members this week. These members will be notified in the coming weeks if their case is one of these.

This still has the potential to be a lengthy process, but it will mean we will be able to start sooner than the next Review hearing date in late March 2012. Members who have placed in Review applications have been very patient and have waited a long time for a resolution to this matter. A further report back will be sent to all members as soon as we receive new information or dates that these cases will be appearing before the QIRC.

Please note the application process for reviews is now closed. if you have any questions please email hp@together.org.au.

 


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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