With the year coming to a close, we're celebrating some of our favourite wins for 2019. While we're identifying these 12 wins of Christmas, we also want to acknowledge the holiday season is recognised differently across our wide, multicultural community. We are also aware that this isn't a celebratory time for everyone and respect those for whom the holiday season brings grief, pain or reminders of loss. We're more than a union, we're a community - and we're in this together. If you see a colleague, friend or community member in need over this period, don't forget to offer your support where possible.
Thank-you all every HACSU member for your contributions this year - we're looking forward to another fantastic year in 2020.
In 2019, our union grew to almost 10,000 members. Over the last five years, we have grown our membership by over 24%, bucking trends all across the world and becoming one of the fastest growing unions in Australia.
In April 2019, we secured landmark pay rises of between 5 and 18% for all psychiatric enrolled nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and psychiatric services officers in Victoria.
In 2019, we bargained with Melba Support Services over the terms of our members’ new EBA. From 2020, Melba will be the first NGO disability provider that we are aware of to commit to paying their workers’ superannuation funds on a fortnightly basis, over and above what the law requires. Earlier super payments = thousands more dollars for HACSU members when upon retirement.
In 2019, we strengthened our team at HACSU, bringing on board and promoting a diverse range of experts in industrial relations, organising, campaigns, communications, and leadership. We are committed to building a diverse and progressive workplace that reflects the expectations of our members, and our status as a specialist union for specialist workers.
In March 2019, HACSU celebrated International Women’s Day with our Inaugural HACSU Women’s Forum. The Forum was a successful event that promoted the rights of women and discussed barriers for women in becoming leaders both within and outside the union movement. We’ll soon be sending invitations to the Forum for 2020, to members who have already expressed interest in attending. If you’d like to attend watch your email in the coming months.
Throughout 2019, we lobbied politicians across Victoria for reform the mental health system as part of our Better Mental Health campaign. In November, all of our key recommendations for workforce reform were accepted by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system.
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Throughout 2019, we bargained with Scope over the terms of a new EBA for our members. Approved by the Fair Work Commission in December 2019, the new EBA includes major wins for our members including increased parental leave, paid police checks, fairer discipline processes, shift allowances, and study leave. We were able to achieve these wins only with the hard work and support of our members at Scope.
In October 2019, we helped one of our members to secure two years of back pay, based on her being incorrectly classified by her employer. She is now being paid properly. On matters individual and collective, big or small, HACSU campaigns tirelessly for the rights of our members.
In September 2019, we secured a major win for all workers employed casually in social and community services (including disability). We secured 25% causal loading in addition to penalty rates for working on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. For the average aged care worker this meant an hourly pay increase of $5.56, and for the average disability worker this meant an increase of $6.69 per hour.
Throughout 2019, we grew the strength and impact of our union members working in disability, despite the government’s policy of privatisation. We secured major transfer incentive payments for our members, and an 8-year period of protection over two EBAs, including 29% wage increases over 8 years.
Throughout 2019, we stood in solidarity with the entire union movement across Australia in campaigning against the Ensuring Integrity Bill. We will stand in solidarity again next year when the bill is reintroduced to the Senate and we know you'll stand with us too.
In September 2019, HACSU welcomed a new leadership team of Paul Healey and Kate Marshall, alongside our President Deb Gunn.
The HACSU leadership team would like to wish you and your family a happy new year on behalf of the entire HACSU team.
We’ve had a year of hard work and high impact at HACSU. We’ve campaigned hard for the rights of our members, and for improvements to mental health and disability services across the state. We’ve achieved some life changing results for our members, and we’ve grown in strength as a union.
We’re proud of what we achieved in 2019. But there’s more to be done, and we’re even more excited about the year ahead. We’ll be campaigning harder than ever- working to secure the mental health and disability services that Victorians deserve, and improved pay and conditions for all workers that reflect the value you all bring to our communities.
Thank you for all your contributions to HACSU throughout 2019.