It is with great sadness that we have to let you know that a HACSU member has today passed away, from medical conditions related to COVID-19.
Out of respect for our member, and for their family’s wishes, we will not be naming them. The union are speaking to government. We will make more information available when we are able to. This is very distressing news we are all here to support each other.
If the information in this article has left you feeling you need to talk to someone, please find below information on who you can contact:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Lifeline Crisis Support Chat: https://www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 675 398
In an Emergency: 000
HACSU State Secretary Paul Healey and Assistant State Secretary Kate Marshall met with leaders of the HSU National branches today to discuss about a national response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ll bring you further news on this when we have more information available.
Paul also met with the Commissioner for the Victorian Disability Worker Regulation Scheme. They discussed the future of the system, issues around safety and the need to share information as soon as it becomes available, as well as ensuring that the Government is building a scheme that is future-proofed and accounts for COVID-19.
Assistant State Secretary Kate Marshall is in the Fair Work Commission this week advocating for people who work in the disability sector. She’s working hard in attempting to get access to a retention bonus for disability workers, similar to in the aged care sector, when workers need to support someone who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. This ‘risk allowance’ is something we’re enthusiastic about; Kate will continue to fight hard to see this become a reality.
HACSU are also disputing in the Fair Work Commission the proposed changes to the SCHCADS modern award, which the Government has applied to vary, adding in two weeks of unpaid leave for pandemics. We support the two weeks leave, but we firmly believe it should be paid.
Announced this past weekend, in regards to the JobKeeper scheme; the not-for-profit sector will only need to prove a loss of 15% revenue, not 30% like the for-profit sector. What this means for you is that if you’ve lost wages, your employer is a NFP organisation and they have lost at least 15% revenue during the period of this pandemic, your employer can apply to receive JobKeeper payments for you.
The JobKeeper Scheme is due to be legislated on Wednesday. If you believe you are eligible for the scheme, you must speak with your employer as they will need to register you to receive payments. Please speak with your employer to manage this request; call us if you have concerns about the outcome of your request.
A reminder for all HACSU members; first aid training courses are not to occur in groups. If you are asked to attend training in a group setting, you must call HACSU to notify us. If training can’t be done without it being in a group setting, it must be postponed.
HACSU’s new project Side by Side is going well. We’ve been in contact with dozens of members so far, hearing your stories of your experiences. Thanks to those members who have spoken with us so far.
Tomorrow, HACSU leaders will be meeting with Minister for Health Jenny Mikadkos to discuss PPE, safety at work for HACSU members, escalation planning, DHHS directions and free parking for essential workers. They will also be meeting with DHHS and WorkSafe tomorrow.
We can report that some health services have offered free or cheaper parking at work. This is a great win for workers, but we want to see this rolled out across the State. Help us to see this become a reality by signing our petition!
In other news, announced over the past weekend by the State Government, healthcare workers will be provided with free accommodation if they are required to self-isolate and cannot stay at home due to risks to their family, or others with whom they live. Thus far, this relates to all HACSU members who work in hospitals and we’re trying to determine whether it applies to other workers as well. We’ll provide members with updates once we know more about this announcement.
The Royal Melbourne Hospital has produced this set of videos freely available that explain how to use PPE for contact and droplet precaution, as well as donning and doffing PPE. These videos should be used only in accordance with your employer’s policy.