Issue number:
36/2004
Date Issued:
06 Dec 2004
Issued to:
Chief Executive Officers; Chief Finance Officers; HR Directors
Purpose:
To advise CEOs about an in-principle settlement to an Allied Health Professionals’ Bargaining Claim.

In early June of this year, the Victorian Hospitals’ Industrial Association (VHIA), on behalf of its members, and the Department reached an “in-principle” settlement of the Health Services Union of Australia Victoria No.3 Branch’s 2004 Allied Health Professionals’ Bargaining Claims. Since that time, the parties have been working towards drafting an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) capable of being certified in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC), encapsulating the matters settled in principle in June.

The parties have now agreed on a draft of the proposed new multi-employer agreement for allied health professionals. This draft agreement has been sighted by Commissioner Cribb of the AIRC who has encouraged employers and the unions to move it forward to certification and implementation expeditiously. [The VHIA has issued a bulletin to its members (Bulletin 892) which is accompanied by copies of the salary circular, calculations of back payments due in early January, and the Commissioner’s Statement.]

Both the VHIA and the respective unions will be circulating the final draft agreement to their respective members in anticipation of a staff ballot and then an application to the AIRC to certify of the agreement by the AIRC. Certification is expected to occur early 2005.

The Department had already made various adjustments to health services budgets from 1 July 2004 relating to the allied health professionals’ EBA. Further adjustments have been made recently in November/December Payment Adjustments for funding the implementation of the allied health professionals’ settlement. The program specific arrangements for the funding of allied health professionals’ EBA is as follows:

HSUA 3 Multi Enterprise Business Agreement

PROGRAM

CURRENT FUNDING STATUS

Acute/Sub-Acute

All 2004/05 funding for salary increases and conditions matters incorporated in budgets.

2003/04 arrears will be paid in the first payment run in October.

Aged Care

A contribution to the EBA was incorporated in the Price Escalation funding of 2.25%, applied to agency budgets in July 2004.

Supplementation towards the 1 April and 1 October 2004 increases of 3% was paid during the November/December Payment Adjustments for the HSUA#3 EBA.

The increases were paid to hospitals, and stand-alone CHCs.

The arrears payment for the 1 April increase of 3% for the three months to June 2004 was paid to hospitals in September as part of a single DHS payment for the ANF and HSUA#3 EBAs for all programs.

Primary Health

A contribution to the EBAs was incorporated in the Price Escalation funding of 2.25%, applied to agency budgets in July 2004.

Supplementation towards the 1 April and 1 October 2004 increases of 3% was paid during the November/December Payment Adjustments for the HSUA#3 EBA.

The increases were paid to hospitals, and stand-alone CHCs.

The arrears payment for the 1 April increase of 3% for the three months to June 2004 was paid to hospitals in September as part of a single DHS payment for the ANF, and HSUA#3 EBAs for all programs.

Arrears payments for CHCs and consortia associated with hospitals were paid as part of the November/December Payment Adjustments.

Public Health

Price Escalation and EBA Supplementation was paid during the November/December Payment Adjustments for HSUA#3 EBA.

The increases were paid to hospitals and some NGOs.

Small Rural Services

A contribution to the EBAs was incorporated in the Price Escalation funding of 2.25%, applied to agency budgets in July 2004.

Supplementation towards the 1 April and 1 October 2004 increases of 3% was paid during the November/December Payment Adjustments for the HSUA#3 EBA.

The increases were paid to Small Rural Health Services that provide Allied Health services.

The arrears payment for the 1 April increase of 3% for the three months to June 2004 was paid to hospitals in September as part of a single DHS payment for the ANF, and HSUA#3 EBAs for all programs.

Given that the parties have finalised an agreement capable of being certified, and have signed a Deed which commits the parties to certifying that agreement and abiding by its terms, it is appropriate that allied health professionals now be paid the salary increases and other conditions benefits contained therein.

Therefore, Health Services are advised that payment of the salary increases and other new benefits agreed in June should be passed on to all affected allied health professionals in the next available pay period, with arrears being calculated and paid as soon possible after that. This applies to allied health professionals in all program areas.

Stand-Alone Primary Care agencies and Community Health Centres should also pass payments on from the next available pay period. Note: Social Workers in stand alone community healthy centres/services should not receive pay increases as they are subject to separate industrial arrangements.

Please note that the advice in this circular authorising payment of recent EBA settlement outcomes pertains only to the allied health professionals’ EBA and only to allied health professionals employed by Respondents named in the draft multi-employer agreement.

Lance Wallace
Executive Director 
Financial and Corporate Services