Blue Care Stronger Together

Delays in your negotiations for your new agreement which could put your next pay rise at risk

Posted by Alex Scott on May 22, 2012

Your negotiation team have become increasingly frustrated at the delays and tactics used by management in this round of negotiations. Meetings for both the Allied Health/Co-ordinators and Admin negotiations have been cancelled by management with the most recent meeting scheduled for Admin staff for Wednesday 16 May cancelled by management on Tuesday 15 May, citing the recent federal government announcement for the aged care industry as the reason. 

Management also cancelled the last Allied Health/Co-ordinators negotiation meeting scheduled for 26 April for the same reason. Your union has tried to contact management numerous times in an attempt to set up another meeting for Allied Health/Co-ordinators and we had heard nothing until yesterday afternoon where they have proposed a meeting on Tuesday 5 June.

There have been on-going concerns about delays and tactics throughout negotiations for the admin agreement, and it has become obvious to your negotiating team that agreement will not be reached before 1 July which is when your next pay rise would be due.  Your negotiators have sought assurances from management that they backdate any pay rise to 1 July.  Management has previously said they wouldn’t provide back pay; however they were committed to achieving an outcome within the timeframe.  Management has recently advised they should have a firm position on backdating by this Friday 25 May.

Allied Health/Co-ordinators next pay rise would be due on 1 September – it is likely that agreement may not be reached in time putting your next pay rise at risk.

See a copy of emails from Blue Care’s HR advisor and your union's representatives in relation to the recently cancelled meeting.

Your union's representatives wrote to Robyn Batten on 19 October 2011 in order to commence negotiations and Blue Care/Wesley Mission Brisbane were not ready.  Your union's representatives finally met with them on 16 November 2011.

As a result of six months of negotiations and lengthy delays your next pay rise due on 1 July, 5 weeks away is now at risk.  In that period an agreement has to be reached, the document needs to be drafted and checked then the agreement needs to be put out for consultation for a period of 7 days before a ballot takes place for approval. 

This means the admin negotiations will go beyond 1 July and at his stage you will NOT receive back pay based on management's current position.

Combined unions and delegates met last week to discuss the situation as members are concerned by the lengthy delays. It was concluded by delegates that the conditions for Blue Care to access the new funding model would provide even more excuses for Blue Care to delay the bargain and thereby push out the operative date for your next increase.  This translates to money out of your pockets.  Your delegates arrived at the below options for members to consider; please read these, discuss with your colleagues and respond to the below feedback question.

There are options below and we’d like your views on them.

Admin and Allied Health/Co-ordinators

  1. Cease negotiations and attempt to negotiate with Blue Care to apply a percentage pay rise for the next 12 months which will give Blue Care time to assess the impact of the Aged Care Reforms.
  2. Make attempts to negotiate with Blue Care and have an agreement in place at some stage with no guarantee of back pay post 1 July(admin) or 1 September(Allied Health/Co-ordinators) 

Feedback Question: As a member of Together do you support leaving all conditions the same and pursuing a wages increase alone through an exchange of letters with Blue Care which will allow for a pay increase this year at the appropriate time? Or are you willing to wait for your pay increase as we continue to try to force Blue Care to bargain the entire agreement?  Click this link to email your response.

A union is a group of workers coming together to change something they can't change by themselves.

To be successful, you need to have a stronger union as management may not agree to the first option and the status quo could remain for the second option.

What makes a union strong?

  • Majority of workers in their union
  • Good communication
  • Open support of a campaign

We only send this to union members so pass this on to anyone in your workplace who doesn’t get this and ask them to support your campaign by joining their union.  They are the key to making your union stronger.