EB Negotiations Update: Your rights are at risk!

Posted on June 11, 2019

Today was a significant moment in our negotiations with Queensland Health, not only because we started to talk about our claims but because the Department of Health has shown their hand – the Department want to strip a range of significant rights and conditions out of our EB.

Although the Department had previously presented us with their Log of Claims (or wish-list), yesterday they gave us a different document that showed a whole range of other conditions that they wanted to cut from our current Agreement. You can see this document here. The fact that they didn’t include this in their earlier list felt like a big step backwards.

In this document they have removed a huge range of rights and conditions that are protected in our EB. The negotiators didn’t have any real reasons for the changes that they explained yesterday. Some of the notable items that they want to remove are:  

  • Removing the requirement to consult about all organisational change
  • Removing the requirement for contracting out of services to occur by agreement – a move to make it easier for management to contract out our work.
  • Removing from the Agreement the protected rights of temporary employeesin relation to conversion to permanency – it’s a lot!

Myself, James from the union office and our Together delegates obviously had a lot to say about this and we firmly rejected the Department’s position that these should be cut out. They are existing entitlements and important conditions!

We also spoke in support of Together claims for improvements to or issues about: employment security, contractors, consultants and labour hire employment and in-sourcing, and the Staffing Cap.

We did not get any commitments from Queensland Health about these issues but we had lengthy arguments.

I thought these negotiations might at least start with a fair ‘base’. That we could expect Queensland Health to be reasonable and not make cuts. However, what today has shown is that we need to be ready now.

It’s a really important time to be union active. Forward this email to your team. Make sure they are all members and ready for this campaign.

The next negotiation meeting with management will be on June 25. We expect to be discussing:

  1. Workloads and safe staffing
    7.1. Adequate clinical to administration staffing
    7.2 Relief Pool
    7.3 Roster Patterns
    7.4 Backfill
    7.5 Replacement of Existing Staff
    7.6 Paid Meal Breaks
    7.7 Digital Recall
    13.3 Clinical Coders
    14.8 ESOs

Remember, if you or any one you know has stories or information about these issues and claims in your workplace, please email these to health@together.org.au by COB Friday 21 June. The more stories and evidence that we have, the stronger and more effective our arguments at the negotiation table will be.

Stay tuned for more updates from your steering committee after the meeting.

1800 177 244