Full Story - Scenarios

Posted November 3, 2014 by Together Queensland

Last week the Mater published a number of “scenarios” designed to show you how much backpay HPs might get if they vote yes. Your delegates are concerned that this information is, once again, not the full story about what you could lose if you vote for this agreement. Delegates have been working with our industrial team to provide a more comprehensive take on these scenarios which are below: 


Connie receives backpay but unfortunately for Connie her manager has read the new agreement and now wants to introduce 12 hour shifts in her work area. Her team gets to vote on the introduction of these shifts but because they feel intimidated by their manager, they decide to vote yes. There is no longer a requirement for Connie's union to agree to the roster change and members would need to identify themselves individually to management in order to have the union represent them. Connie is an older worker with many years of service at the Mater and while she is used to shift work she is worried about how she will deal with three 12 hour shifts in a row followed by a further two 8 hour shifts in every week. She decides to decline to work 12 hour shifts and she is redeployed to another service within the Mater. She doesn't want to move to this service but she doesn't have a choice. This service doesn't offer as many afternoon shifts and therefore she loses a weeks' leave because she is no longer eligible. After a few years she has been redeployed twice and the whole of her discipline has been moved onto 12 hour shifts. With no job security protections she is made redundant receiving 16 weeks' pay for her 29 years' service.


Erin received her back-pay, but because of changes to temporary employment rights she is no longer entitled to be converted into a permanent employee after 2 years because her role is reasonably foreseeable that the role will continue.

She could now be forced to be a temporary employee forever, even if the role is required permanently.

Because the Mater won't appoint her permanently they can terminate her employment at any time and one day they just don't renew her contract. Because of changes to entitlements by the Mater she won't be entitled to payment of her accrued ling service leave.

Her colleagues never see her again, but because she was not made permanent and there is no longer a clause requiring it, the Mater don't replace her and require everyone to see more patients setting new "benchmarks" that require a certain number of patients to be assessed in a certain amount of time.

HP staff are worried about the impacts of these new rules on the quality of patient care and treatment and they raise the issue with their Director. As a senior HP, their previous Director was a champion of quality and efficient patient care and often advocated for best practice. Unfortunately she was made redundant as part of a restructure and the new Director is on a common law contract. The new Director tries hard but can't employ any more staff and has KPI's which mean that he could face termination of employment if 90% of the case benchmarks are not met by his Department. He thinks the benchmarks are unfair and clinically unsound but he is contractually bound to support them.

Luckily Erin finds a job at the new Children's Hospital where her service at the Mater is recognised thanks to the agreement her colleagues have negotiated. Erin is a union member and knows that at Queensland Health her Together colleagues refused to accept 2.2% and are continuing to fight for better conditions. She continues to fight with her Together colleagues for a better health system.


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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