ACT Health is on track to introduce the new Health Professionals Enterprise Agreement (HPEA) after a successful staff vote.
The vote, which closed on 30 April saw the majority of staff vote Yes to the new agreement with 91 per cent of voters in favour of the new agreement. This new enterprise agreement will see wage increases for Health professionals at ACT Health.
The HPEA will provide pharmacists with the tools to help remedy the issues with attraction and retention at The Canberra and Cavalry Public Hospitals.
“The new classification structure now incorporates the old bonus structure and we believe this will address issues with attracting and keeping talented pharmacists firmly in the ACT health system,” said Dale Beasley, Director Professionals Australia ACT Branch.
It has been a long road since October last year when ACT Health committed to making these changes. At the time, our members were at the point of industrial action to force management to listen to their concerns.
“Our members stuck together and were willing to proceed to protected action. That’s when ACT Health listened. It shows when members speak collectively with their union, their voices cannot be ignored,” said Dale.
This agreement sees significant improvements for pharmacists at The Canberra and Calvary Public Hospitals. The key changes for our members are:
- A classification structure that removes barriers to advancement and recognises a pharmacist’s skills and experience
- Increases to annual base salaries for members between $3,000 – $8,000. Members will receive back-pay for up to two years.
- Superannuation increases over lifetime of the agreement
- Classification review process to oversee the newly established classification structure and,
- Payment for shift workers increased to 25 per cent for employees working between 6:00 PM – 8:00 AM
With the issues of pay covered, it was in our members best interests to also address the conditions at ACT Health. The new agreement acknowledges the part that working conditions play in attracting and retaining staff. The HPEA includes:
- A pharmacist consultative committee – A forum for our members to voice any concerns they have about their workplace direct to Hospital management.
- Provisions for professional development support in the form of time or training costs (based on a pay percentage)
- Flexible work arrangements e.g. flexible start and finish times, support for parents and carers
- An open forum with management to discuss workplace changes such as the proper use of outside contractors
While there is still work to do to, the new agreement provides the tools to help strengthen the pharmacy departments in Canberra’s public hospitals.
We would like to thank all the delegates and members at Canberra and Cavalry Hospitals who put in a considerable amount of time and effort to make sure pharmacists concerns were heard. Without them, this agreement would not be possible.
Media Contact: Dale Beasley 0433 847 325