I refer to the message distributed by Phil Minns on Thursday 26 August, 2021 in respect to the mandatory vaccination of all NSW Heath employees.
I can inform members that the PSA first wrote to Minister Hazzard in February 2021 expressing our concern that the Ministry of Health employees had not been prioritised to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
On 26 May 2021 the PSA met with Minister Hazzard, Annie Owens and other representatives. During the course of this meeting your union was advised by Ms Owens that Ministry of Health staff were not considered frontline workers and therefore were not a priority for the vaccination. The PSA strongly objected to this position and urged the Minister to prioritise and facilitate the vaccination of all Ministry of Health staff as clearly they play a critical role in assisting the Minister, the Premier and the Chief Health Officer on a daily basis.
I can inform members that the only consultation the PSA received prior to the issuing of Mr Minns’s message was a phone call several hours prior.
Whilst the PSA completely supports vaccination, your union is mindful that the vaccine rollout has been poorly handled by the Federal Government and the assistance offered to Ministry of Health staff has been equally poor when it comes to vaccination.
The PSA is mindful that many individuals live within the LGAs of concern and in personal circumstances that are extremely difficult. It has always been the wish of the PSA that the Ministry work in a collegiate and cooperative way with its staff and the union.
Accordingly I have directed industrial staff to seek the assistance of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission to assist PSA members, who through no fault of their own and without the assistance of the Ministry of Health, have been unable to be vaccinated.
I will also be writing to Minister Hazard in respect to this situation.
Should you require any assistance please contact the PSA on 1300 772 679.
General Secretary, PSA