Major breakthrough in clinical assistant reclass campaign
We have big news for our members who are fighting for recognition as Clinical Assistants!
On Tuesday we secured a commitment from the department to a support the recommendation that the list of agreed Clinical Assistant roles are to be moved from the operational stream to a new clinical assistant stream in the HPDO Agreement! This is a major breakthrough in the campaign for respect, recognition and better pay and conditions for you and your colleagues in clinical roles currently stuck in the operational stream.
Over the last two weeks, clinical assistant delegates and members held meetings outside health facilities from Logan to Townsville to discuss the progress of the review, and apply pressure to the Department of Health as we head towards the deadline of 30 November.
On Tuesday, delegates met with Queensland Health for the second last meeting of the review, and the last before the deadline.
Earlier this month, Together and other unions had put together what members wanted to come out of the review – serious recommendations about serious changes. Queensland Health at the meeting on Tuesday finally provided their response to those suggested recommendations.
Despite negativity from Queensland Health, and reluctance on their part to agree to any recommendations at all, thanks to the activism and work of delegates and members, Together managed to get Qld Health to commit.
Delegates managed to get Queensland Health to agree in the meeting that the review report:
- Will recommend that there should be a new stream created in the Health Practitioner/Dental Officer Agreement specifically for clinical assistants
- Will recommend that those roles discussed and agreed on would be recommended to move over into the new stream and out of the operational stream.
- Will recommend that clinical assistants would therefore be bargaining with HPs and DOs in next years collective agreement – negotiating alongside other clinical staff
- Will recommend that there is no loss of conditions from EB9.
There were also other recommendations supported by the Department of Health, including some that relate to the how this move would occur (e.g. fixing up the industrial Award to reflect the change, and transitional arrangements such as temporarily using the generic work level statements while they are reviewed).
Queensland Health have said they do not want to recommend any improvements in conditions (e.g. increase to pay, access to professional development, and others). Management have also suggested a 'description' of what a clinical assistant is that has to be worked through. Members can fight for improved conditions in the EB next year - and we can win.
Your steering committee of clinical assistant delegates will be working on finalising the recommendations with Queensland Health and we will send those out to members when they are drafted. Your steering committee met today and are supportive of locking in the recommendations that members won at the last meeting, and to maintain the campaign into next year’s EB negotiations to also secure better pay and conditions for workers on the new Clinical Assistants stream.
Your delegates in your workplace should have a petition for you to sign to keep the pressure on Health - get in touch if you don’t have a delegate and want to get involved. Next year the fight continues for pay and conditions – ask a non-member to join today to strengthen the union.