Beginning today, we’ll be providing a daily update on circumstances that might affect you at work, given the ever-changing environment we’re currently working in. This update will be found on our website each day at around the end of the business day.
Today Paul, State Secretary and Kate, Assistant State Secretary attended the National Executive meeting; a meeting with all leaders across the National Health Services Union. This meeting was to discuss a national approach to managing the impact of COVID-19 for workers in the health and community services sector in Australia. Some employers are being more strict with allowing union officials into workplaces, so we’re also needing to use our Right of Entry permits more often to access workers, due to the health and safety risks of this virus. There was also a discussion about delivering what members need at this time, given social distancing measures mean we can’t hold face-to-face meetings.
We will be looking at different ways to communication with members in addition to what we are currently doing which may mean more social media and digital communication from us and potential video-meetings with members where possible. We know this won’t work for all members, but this is a flexible option we’ll be making use of during this time.
State Secretary Paul is also meeting with Chief Mental Health Nurse, Anna Love this afternoon to discuss operations in mental health at the current time. We have not heard of any services in mental health closing down at this stage, however if you have questions about workplace operations for yourself and your colleagues, please call us.
In the disability sector, we’ve heard from two employers, Uniting and St John of God, who have provided their policy for COVID-19. These employers will provide two weeks paid special leave for all staff who must self-isolate due to this virus. We also know that there are a lot of day services who are closing down for the time being, with staff being redeployed. We’re working through a process with all employers to get their COVID-19 policies, to ensure these policies are fair and just and we will distribute those as they are provided to us.
For all members; starting next week we will be reaching out to each individually to check in. We want to hear how you are doing and check in on your life at work. Please bear with us while we get to you and if you have any pressing questions, you can still contact HACSU Assist on 1300 650 931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
While our officials are busily working to get to you, remember to check with each other – if you know another HACSU member, take the time next week to give them a call, or send an email to check in. We’re all in this together, and now more than ever is the time to support one another.