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HACSU News February



Welcome to new HACSU members who joined us in the last month! We hope you’re feeling fantastic in February! This month, we asked you to be our Valentine when we launched our campaign to ‘Put the heart back into the NDIS’.

We’re watching the progress of the Royal Commission into Mental Health closely. You can click here to read more about the recent updates, including the announcement of the Terms of Reference.

We’ve also been back to visit our comrades at Longford and we’ve been working on some training available to you throughout the year!


You can apply to attend a range of free training as a HACSU member, including HSR training, suicide prevention training and cultural awareness training!

Click here for a downloadable copy of the HACSU 2019 Training Calendar.


During February, our Development Team was out and about at inductions for new mental health graduates! We’re always keen to talk to new workers in the sector.


They’re a fresh set of eyes that can help by providing their ideas on how to improve the sector. We’ll also be working soon on building out student membership. We’d love to hear your ideas about what types of digital courses you’d like to take to help improve your skills as a new worker in mental health! Get in touch by emailing us:


Victorian Disability Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Victorian Disability Awards. These awards honour the contributions of Victorians who support, lead, educate and advocate for people with disability through recognising the achievements of individuals, teams and organisations that improve rights and increase participation of people with disability. For more information or to nominate, you can click here or go to the website:


World Social Justice Day

February 20th was Day of World Social Justice, a day we gather to recognise injustice and celebrate peace and prosperity for all people, across the world. It’s a great time for us to think about inclusion, human rights and community. You can click here to read more about these fantastic topics!


Labour Day

Labour Day is coming up on March 11th in Victoria. This means public holiday means that if you’re working, you’ll receive public holiday rates for that day! Labour Day is celebrated in Victoria to recognise the efforts of workers and trade unions and commemorates the first march for workers’ rights in Melbourne. In 1856 the stonemasons and building workers across the city stopped work and marched from Melbourne Uni to Parliament House. Their action is noted as being among the one of the first organised workers to achieve the 8-hour day without loss of pay.

(We’ve created this handy printable table of all Victorian public holidays which you can share with your colleagues. Click here to download a copy


Win at GV Health!

We’d also like to congratulate our members at Goulburn Valley Health who have been raising issues with local and senior management to create change in their workplace. While there is still more work needed to create change, some of the recent developments we’ve seen include:

  • Ensuring the hospital consults with members on the introduction of an ECAT team
  • Advocating to the DHHS for funding for additional staff in the HDU
  • Ensuring there is always a Senior Clinician on the shift in the community teams
  • The hospital is currently investigating a backpay claim for those staff who acted up in RPN 4 roles in recent months
  • Providing a prompt response to get young and new clinicians in community training positions.


A special shout out to Lexie Brown and Paul Moffatt, two fantastic HACSU delegates who have been crucial in arranging meetings and leading the cause for all HACSU members!

(Photo – winners )

If you have any good stories you would like to share with us, please let us know! You can contact your local Area Organiser or


Improving Conditions for All Disability Workers – Our Plan to Fix the SCHADS Modern Award

If you work in the disability sector, you might also be interested to learn that our national office, the Health Services Union is campaigning to improve the Modern Award that applies to disability workers.

The Modern Award (known as the SCHADS Award) sets minimum wages and conditions across the entire disability sector and its what you’re employed under if you don’t have an EBA.

Even if you are employed under an EBA, the Modern Award still affects you. This is because if we improved conditions in the Award, we have a new higher floor for things to bargain for in future EBA negotiations such as minimum shift lengths and improved roster processes.

HSU National is campaigning for the following:

  • Minimum shift lengths for all employees to be 3 hours, whether you are full-time, part-time & casual (currently there is no minimum shift length for full-time and part-time; casual engagement is a minimum of 2 hours);
  • Additional protections around broken shifts and how frequently they can be used;
  • Paid time when travelling between clients;
  • A new allowance for damaged clothing;
  • Ensuring that if your employer requires the use of a mobile phone that a phone is provided or costs are reimbursed;
  • Ensuring that casuals get paid their 25% casual loading in addition to penalties for work performed on Saturdays and Sundays;
  • First aid refresher training to be paid for by the employer;
  • Additional compensation for on-call/recall;
  • Improvements to worker rights when a client cancels a scheduled shift;
  • Removing the 24-hour clause, which states that an employer can direct you to stay with a client for a full 24-hour period, but you’re only paid for 8 hours (this currently applies to aged care workers, but employers are arguing it should extend to disability);


We’ll keep you posted as further updates come in about this important campaign!


Do you want to become a HSR?

Finally, as you might know, we’ve got some upcoming training for Health and Safety Representatives as well as HACSU Delegate training over the next few months. If you’re interested but haven’t yet been elected, read more here about how you can be elected as an official HSR by clicking here.