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Home > News > HACSU News: January

HACSU News: January

2020-01-30

This month at HACSU, we’re getting back into the swing of things in 2020. This year, we’re focussed on campaigning together for better outcomes for HACSU members across Victoria. A union is only as strong as its members and this year we’ll need the support of each and every member to help us move into the future with a formidable collective voice. 

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One of our major pieces of work for this year will be the Public Mental Health EBA campaign. Members love being a part of HACSU because together, we’re a campaigning union. Last year we managed to win and implement the best wages and conditions for transferring disability workers the country has ever seen. This year we plan to get some great wins again – this time for mental health workers. It’s a tricky time for workers in mental health; we’re in the midst of a Royal Commission and whilst we’ve already seen some fantastic recommendations come from it, there’s a way to go in ensuring that all the recommendations are properly implemented.

We need to ensure that the next public mental health enterprise agreement provides for current workers, whilst also attracting enough new workers to the sector to see the much-needed staffing increases fulfilled. For many of you, this might be the first time you’ve heard of an enterprise agreement, especially those members who are new to the union. 

So, what is collective bargaining_

There are no stupid questions in our collective of workers! Here is some brief information to explain what an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) is:

  • First introduced in 1991 enterprise agreements were introduced after ‘Workchoices’;
  • Enterprise agreements come about as a result of a process called ‘collective bargaining’ where groups of workers come together to put forward their priorities for wages and working conditions to the employer;
  • Collective bargaining is important because most of the time, your boss has more power than you as one individual worker;
  • The enterprise agreement (EBA) comprises all the information about your working conditions, wages, leave entitlements and other things that impact your career;
  • Unions like HACSU are made up of officials, delegates and members that are involved as a collective representative for all workers and will bargain with employers on behalf of workers;
  • It’s important to have a ‘high density’ of union members at your workplace; the more union members there are, the louder our collective voice and the better EBA outcomes we win.

Click here to learn more about collective bargaining!

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We’ll also be campaigning in the disability sector for safety for all! There will be plenty of opportunities to get involved as a HACSU member this year – get in touch with your delegate if you’d like to learn more about how you can be an active HACSU member!

 

In more sombre news, we know there are lots of HACSU members who have been affected by the bushfires across Victoria in December in January. We urge members who have been seriously affected to get in touch with your HACSU Organiser or HACSU Assist on 1300 651 931. At HACSU, we're a union of workers who dedicate our working lives to supporting others. We're aware that right now, members have been affected by the terrible bushfires. As we speak, our communities continue to suffer, and we acknowledge the pain and trauma this has and will continue to cause.

Thank-you to all HACSU members who have reached out in support of those affected. We've had many members call to ask how you can support those affected by the bushfires in our communities. The Victorian Trades Hall Council have set up a donation fund in coalition with Victorian unions to help support union members across the state. To donate, click here . Thank-you to all those HACSU members who have already reached out in support of those in need. 

For members seeking support, please know you can contact your workplace Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or a GP for mental health support during these tough times. If you're needing critical support, please contact  Lifeline  on 13 11 14.  Nurse-On-Call  is available for expert health information on 1300 60 60 24. If you're facing financial crisis, please contact  Centrelink  or  click here  for information on how to access financial aid. 

For those still living or working in bushfire prone areas, please remember to always put safety first; have a plan and leave as soon as you need to. For more information, go to:  http://vic.gov.au/knowfire