At HACSU, we’re dedicated to ensuring your rights as Victorian workers are respected and protected. That’s why we’ve taken a big step forward by winning an independent resolution panel designed to make things easier for workers at public mental health services.
We all know disagreements can arise between workers and employers about job classification or underpayments. In the past, if these disputes couldn’t be sorted out directly, they were taken to the Fair Work Commission (FWC). While the FWC is important, going through it can be slow, costly, and overly legalistic. It could take weeks or even months to get a decision, and workers had to pay a nonrefundable application fee upfront.
We believe that workers shouldn’t have to endure all that when standing up for their rights. It shouldn’t be a complex legal battle. This is where the Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedure (ADRP) & its panel come into play. HACSU’s Assistant State Secretary, Kate Marshall, represented workers who had claims dragged out through the lengthy FWC process — and knew there was a better way. That’s why we’ve campaigned and won a more straightforward, quicker, and less complicated process than the FWC.
If you’re covered by the Victorian Public Mental Health Services (VPMHS) EBA or Forensicare EBA and have a dispute concerning classifications or underpayments, you can bring it to the Independent Disputes Resolution Industry Panel. Here’s how it happens: on one side, you have a member and the union, and on the other side, the employer is represented by their HR. They’ll present their sides to a fair panel of experts.
This panel will include representatives from various groups, including HACSU, the employer, and an independent chair with experience with the Fair Work Commission. The chair’s role is to decide on the classification or underpayment dispute. If either side disagrees with this decision, they have the option to take the dispute to the FWC within 14 days
One of the best things about the ADRP is that it won’t cost you a thing. Justice shouldn’t come with a price tag. You won’t need to wade through complicated legal jargon or laws. The panel’s approach is practical and collaborative. They’ll work together to determine who’s right and wrong. While it might not solve everything immediately, the panel is committed to handling complaints efficiently.
We’re excited to let you know that the ADRP is just the beginning. Right now, it’s focused on classifications and underpayments. But we’re aiming to expand its reach in the future to cover even more issues. Our ultimate goal is to save you time, money, and stress while always upholding your rights.
Together, we’ll keep pushing for fair and sensible solutions. Let’s make sure your voice is heard, and your concerns are resolved the right way.