The current ESTA MOU covering pandemic demand response initiatives expires at the end of this month. ESTA and unions have not yet reached an agreement for the next MOU covering members through to January 2023.
ESTA has verbally agreed to roll the current MOU into July to allow more time for negotiations, so members should expect to continue to receive the current increased shift penalties for now.
During meetings, there has been discussions on the increased pressures put on ESTA staff through the COVID-19 pandemic and winter Infuenza surge.
ESTA has verbally acknowledged its failure to properly recruit over the preceding years which has exacerbated these pressures. MOU meetings with ESTA continue to explore ways to improve and incentivise existing resources and service delivery practices. Sadly, workload will not be easing for members when underesourcing is systemic.
The past two meetings with ESTA have largely focused on improving training and mentoring within the centres, including financial incentives for staff performing these roles to help alleviate attrition rates in new call takers. The union has outlined members issues with shortened training for new call-takers leading to added workload on the floor, and this shortened process failing to support staff in their new role.
ESTA has verbally refused to re-instate the two weeks lost out of new call-taker training, stating that the government plans to hold a formal review of ESTA’s training program and that ESTA will not re-instate until they receive results of this review. There are no dates set for when this review will occur. We should expect to see trainers, mentors, and new staff unfairly struggle with workload because of this decision.
ESTA is scheduled to draft a document of their position by COB Monday 27 of June. The unions will have access to this document by Monday 4 or Tuesday 5 July.
The next MOU meeting with ESTA is scheduled for Wednesday the 6 July which is a tight turn around for union to consult with members. If you would like to discuss the MOU and share opinion with the union contact Organiser Lauren Stanley on 0425 755 903.