On 31 August 2021, The Public Service Association (PSA) lodged a dispute against the Ministry of Health (MOH) due to its lack of consultation on the implementation and impact of the Public Health Orders (PHO) on our members.
The basis of the dispute was that MOH held discussions with other organisations during the development of the POH and prior to them being announced. They announced that discussions were held with unions prior to making the decisions on mandating vaccinations, but in fact they did not discuss them with the PSA.
You can read our original bulletin on the dispute HERE
We were advised of the PHOs on Thursday 26 August and raised some initial concerns about the impact they would have on our members, and why there was now such a rush, when the PSA had been advocating for MOH staff to be considered priority since long before the current Delta Strain outbreak.
The PSA wrote to Minister Hazzard in February 2021 and met with him and MOH representatives in May 2021 raising our concerns that MOH staff were not being given priority access to Covid-19 vaccinations considering the essential work you all provide to the Government. We continued to raise our concerns at Join Consultative Committee Meetings with Workplace Relations staff.
The announcement of the PHOs without our inclusion in the discussion was incredibly poor form by MOH considering our repeated requests and support of MOH staff being given priority access to vaccinations.
While we do not dispute the PHO per se, we should have been engaged in the discussions during the decision making process and consulted on the implementation.
As an outcome of the dispute and Industrial Relations Commission conference, MOH will now meet with your represenatives on Tuesday 14 September to hear any questions and concerns. We will be raising, on behalf of members a number of concerns that have already been raised with us such as:
- What process will be undertaken to ensure the security and privacy of registered vaccination records
- What process will be undertaken for those requiring a consult with their specialist if that consult cannot occur prior to 30 September
- What process will be put in place for staff who are unable to be vaccinated by 30 September
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