Vote NO in Mater's ballot

Posted on January 16, 2020

Yesterday all allied health staff received an email about Mater’s latest offer in your negotiations.

This email signals that Mater management is going to send a ballot to all staff to seek acceptance of their proposed agreement.

Recently, your industrial action moved management’s wage offer, won the super changes members have been seeking, extended access to Professional Development Leave and Allowances to temporary staff, and stopped the changes around being forced to take leave.

However, there are still some of your key issues that are not addressed in this ‘final’ offer.

It shows that when you stand together with your colleagues and discuss your situation, act decisively and address the situation by joining your union and acting collectively - you can stop cuts, and seek better wages and conditions.

Your union delegates met today and have rejected the new offer and are recommending that all staff vote no to this latest version of the agreement – read on for why.

Here are the 4 reasons to vote NO to Mater’s proposed agreement:

1) Wages: Recently Mater provided the Nurses with 2.5%. The rest of your industry in Allied Health are seeing a 2.5% increases (Ramsay, Uniting Care Hospitals, St Vincents). Mater Management’s wage offer of 2% (each year for 3 years), is not one that respects the role you play at Mater or in the industry.

2) Two-tiered wage structure: This offer still means that new, promoted or staff impacted by organisational change could be paid 15-18% LESS(?) The HP pay scale was created so that everyone’s skills and abilities are treated fairly and so that all professions are treated fairly and equally.

Mater proposing to remove pathology and pharmacy is the start of separate conditions and separate wages based on professions.

The two-tiered wage structure also means:

  • that new staff in pathology and pharmacy will be paid less than someone working beside them in the same job.
  • staff who are restructured or promoted could then have a wage freeze until the new wage rates catch up to your existing pay level.

3) Removal of Hours of Work protection: Mater management are removing your hours of work clause completely. Currently for Allied Health you can be asked to work between 06:00 and 19.00 Monday to Friday; and between 07:00 and 18:00 on Saturday.

If your agreement is silent on this, Mater could roster you to work outside of these times, and potentially not pay you penalties for doing so. This will also impact  your rosters. Management could ask you to work later and start earlier.

4) No commitment to NOT contracting out services: Earlier this year Mater management decided to outsource medical imaging. The department was being reviewed without the knowledge of staff and the contract wasn’t put to tender, it was given to QLD X-Ray without a fair tender process.

Union members have asked that Mater management commit to consultation prior to a decision being made and have a requirement that contractors working at the Mater are afforded the same conditions of employment as is listed in your agreement.

Mater have rejected this outright. What is worrying is which department are they looking at cutting or outsourcing next?

How the ballot will work.

All HP staff can vote, that’s casuals, part time and full time staff. That’s about 500 HP staff.

To reject the new agreement, you will need 251 staff to vote and vote no.

However, think about this, if 80% of staff vote no to the agreement, how powerful do you think that message will be?

You need to ensure that you and your colleagues send Mater management the strongest possible message. That only happens when everyone votes no. The bigger the majority you have the stronger the message you send.

Every member needs to act now to let Mater management know that you don’t accept their offer:

  1. Sign the pledge to vote no – so you can receive a reminder to vote.
  2. Can you talk to your colleagues about why you are voting NO and ask them to sign the pledge?
  3. If your colleague is not a member of Together ask them to join here.

Remember that the work you do today, to commit your colleagues to ‘vote no’ matters.

It matters for your working conditions and wages over the next 3 years. If no one is committed to vote no and continue action – there is a real possibility that management’s cuts will become a reality.

For more information contact your organiser Billy Colless on privatehealth@together.org.au. Billy is organising site visits and member meetings for next week. If you can host a meeting please let him know.

1800 177 244
members@together.org.au