Negotiations for a new company agreement for employees, including Allied Health Professionals, at BreastScreen Victoria began earlier this year. At present, no significant progress has been made. Staff members are invited to vote on the agreement just before it is submitted to the Fair Work Committee. After a long and long negotiation, during which the members voted the initial agreement before Christmas, a revised agreement was approved by the members, which provides for the introduction for the 2nd and a clause allowing a reconstitution of holidays in the future and annual salary increases of 3%. However, while we have to fight for the survival of community health, the mere fact that negotiating a multi-company agreement covering all health centres in the Community is not good for Allied health professionals or for the community health sector. Therefore, VAHPA strives to negotiate individual company agreements in each community health center. However, the employers and their representative, the VHIA, are firm in the desire to negotiate a multi-company agreement, although, as the result for community health dentists shows (6 different company agreements), they cannot guarantee that this will be the final outcome of these negotiations. The only way to encourage employers in the field of Community health to negotiate individual company agreements is to submit to the Fair Labour Committee a request for a decision known as majority support. This requires a majority of affected employees to sign a petition at a workplace to declare that they wish to negotiate for a single company agreement.
Negotiations on the new agreement will continue until July.