Update for Mackay HHS

Posted on March 25, 2020

Yesterday Heather Hayes and your delegates attended the Mackay HHS consultative forum. At this forum we raised a number of concerns from our members and we were provided a brief update by Management on COVID 19. 

Management have committed to providing information on what staff should expect through COVID 19 at work.  Management have also committed to regular weekly briefing which will give your delegates the opportunity to ask questions and to raise concerns.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact your local delegates or email Ashleigh.saunders@together.org.au or health@together.org.au 

At the meeting we raised the following: 

Commitment to consultation

Mackay HHS acknowledges their obligation to consult per the industrial instruments. Where deployment or transfer may be required, members should expect managers to genuinely consult prior to decision making. This includes taking individual circumstances into consideration, including caring needs, whether that staff member belongs to a risk group, transport etc. Members who have concerns around consultation, again, please contact your local Organiser with any issues or email ashleigh.saunders@together.org.au or health@together.org.au.

Leave Entitlements

Last Thursday, the DG for Health signed a memo applying Directive 01/20: Employment Arrangements in the Event of a Health Pandemic (Pandemic Directive) to all staff who work in Mackay HHS. This directive contains more entitlements, including up to 20 days' pandemic leave. You can read the directive here.

Recruitment across Department of Health and HHS to all classifications

The increase in workload and opening of new Fever Clinics presents the need to increase staff. The Department of Health and the HHSes have already started the recruitment process for these new roles.   

Temporary and casual contracts

Your Union encouraged Mackay HHS to extend all temporary contracts by 6 months and to ensure casuals have maximised job security opportunities. While the HHS did not agree to the blanket temporary contract extension at this stage, there has been some agreement to retain all staff through the health crisis is paramount, and that we should expect temporary and casual staff to remain employed through this time. I'd like to remind members that if you are a long term temporary or casual worker (2 years) you can contact the Together union office to talk about temporary to permanent conversion. Email us at ashleigh.saunders@together.org.au or health@together.org.au or call 1800 177 244.

If you feel that you or your family are at risk we would encourage you to talk to your manager about your circumstances to ensure that management identify those that are at risk or if members have family members who may be at risk ie immune-suppressed.  Members should be offered safe work to ensure that you and your family are protected both at work and at home. 

As you know last year saw Dolph Lossberg retire, whom we continue to miss.  In great news Dolph will be replaced with Mardi Roscher who has been a delegate within Health working for eHealth in Mackay. Mardi will be starting just after Easter and is looking forward to working with you all at this time.  We will send out an update with Mardi’s details as soon as Mardi starts her role. 

With regards to your EB agreement and the one of $1250 payment and your back-pay: This is all currently with the DG for approval. It has all been drafted etc. but the issue is getting official signatures has slowed down a bit due to COVID-19. Members should be assured that we are being very clear however and saying that – frontline health staff are all expected to keep doing over and above – the least they can do is make sure you are paid!

As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to spread, we will keep you updated. Check the Together Queensland COVID-19 page for more information. You should also encourage your colleagues to join Together Union so they can receive support during this time.

Remember, your health and well-being is the most important thing. Please contact your union with any issues or questions that you have. We are here to support you during this global pandemic.

1800 177 244