Wage Increases and Back Pay
The ANF is taking all possible steps to ensure our members receive their wage increases and back pay as soon as possible. In order for hospitals to begin paying the increases, they must receive the funding from the Department of Human Services (DHS). In 2004 this took three months to complete. State Government policy is to release the funding only once a written agreement (on all matters) is voted on and lodged. With the change of Federal Government and anticipated changes to industrial relations laws, this could further delay the process.
ANF has provided a draft agreement to DHS and VHIA on 20 November. We have been advised that we will receive their response to this on 30 November 2007. Once agreement on this draft is achieved, which may take additional time, ANF has agreed to enter into a legal arrangement with DHS that will enable DHS to fund hospitals for the wage increases.
Docking of Pay
ANF has been flooded with copies of member grievance letters regarding docking of pay. Members are encouraged to continue with this process. ANF has also held meetings with members and hospital management in those hospitals where pay docking was most prevalent. In addition, an application was made to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) for their assistance. Regrettably, VHIA opposed the AIRC having a role and as a result ANF has engaged legal counsel to argue on behalf of ANF members that the AIRC does have a legitimate role to play. This case will be heard on 7 December 2007 (please note this has changed from the previous date 30 November 2007).
In the interim, ANF is pleased that most hospitals have recently undertaken a review of their decision to dock pay. In many cases this review has resulted in a reversal of the pay docking. Members should not become directly involved in this review without first seeking advice from their Organiser.
It is critical that members notify their ANF Organiser ASAP if the review results in reimbursement and your grievance is therefore resolved. This can be done by calling your Organiser on 03 9275 9333, sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 03 9275 9344 detailing your name and workplace and that your grievance is resolved.
Where members remain aggrieved about the docking of their pay, the grievance will be dealt with by a meeting of senior ANF and VHIA officials. If that meeting does not resolve the matter, and a legitimate grievance exists, ANF will (subject to winning our case in the AIRC) refer the grievance to the AIRC for their assistance.