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:
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.
Financial and Corporate Services