This is an incredibly stressful time for working people – whether you’re on the frontline of the response to COVID-19, facing job loss and insecurity as companies strip back operations, or having to take on further caring responsibilities. Your union is here for you. As the situation in workplaces and the community are evolving, we’re in constant communication with CEOs, heads of agencies, and government to ensure that your safety and wellbeing are looked after. We have been ringing delegates to check in, and we’ve been busy responding to calls and emails from members across our many worksites to give advice and support as best we can.
We have written this week to the State Premier Steven Marshall and the State Health Minister Stephen Wade calling on the SA Government to commit to:
- Testing – priority access to testing and results for healthcare workers, paid and provided for by the employer where possible. We also ask for priority access to flu vaccinations, paid and provided for by the employer
- Workers Compensation – we will be advocating for our members to seek workers compensation claims in instances where they contract the COVID-19 virus.
- Surge Workforce and Consultation – immediate consultation with SA Health concerning all surge workforce proposals and consultation regarding manageable workloads and major workplace changes
- Utilisation of Redeployment Provisions – Call on the government to prioritise temporarily redeploying employees where their own worksites are facing closure or a reduction in workers. Where workers (and in particular, casual workers) working in the Private Sector are facing a stand down of work, the Government should consider provisions to deploy them to roles within SA Health in order to utilise and maintain a skilled workforce, and at the same time minimising the unemployment crisis that is already coming to fruition.
- Childcare Arrangements – Access to flexible working arrangements, including working from home where applicable, or else special leave with pay in order to care for their children where no other arrangements can be safely made
- Job Security – any employee who is a casual or on a fixed-term contract should be immediately converted to permanency to ensure workforce continuity, to provide financial and economic security for workers and to retain critical knowledge during this pandemic.
- Free Car Parking – We ask that free car parking arrangements be provided to all Health Services workers to alleviate any financial burden accrued as a result of being required to work more frequently.
Member spotlight: SA Pathology
HSU members at SA Pathology are doing an incredible job stepping up under pressure to get COVID-19 testing done – We would like to highlight and thank SA Pathology workers and all HSU members who are on the frontlines of the crisis and looking after our community.
Workplace Health and Safety is union business
At this time, WHS is at the top of everyone’s mind- as it should be. Safe workplaces make sure that workers are protected but are also key in delivering health outcomes for our community.
As well as your physical safety, your workplace needs to be looking after your mental health- this is obviously a stressful time, so if your workplace has an employee assistance program, we encourage members to access it, as well as seeking any other support you might need at this time.
We know that a lot of employers need to be doing more to ensure the safety of their staff- make sure you’re keeping us up to date on any workplace health and safety issues so we can work together to resolve them and look after each other.
Just as we have seen the physical impacts of COVID-19 on people’s health, the individual workplace, social and economic impacts also have the potential to psychologically injure workers.
The ACTU Coronavirus Workers’ Resource Centre’s latest alert details what you need to know to protect your mental health at work during the COVID-19 situation, including:
- Your employer’s obligations to protect psychological health and safety at work;
- The types of psychological hazards both frontline workers and people working from home should know about;
- Simple steps to report and escalate psychological hazards and issues in your workplace; and
- How to access workers’ compensation if you sustain a psychological injury.
Click here to access the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Psychological Health and Safety at Work OHS Alert.
Keep up to date- follow the HSU on Facebook
Make sure you follow the HSU on Facebook- click the link here or just search HSU SA/NT. We’re keeping members informed on your rights at work during this difficult time, as well as providing updates on the work your union is doing to look after members.
Pass it on- share this bulletin with your co-workers
Are your colleagues HSU members? If not, forward them this bulletin and encourage them to get on board – being a union member means having access to expert advice and support in difficult situations.
Join the HSU by clicking here or by contacting us on (08) 8279 2255 / firstname.lastname@example.org