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Public sector EBA update #9: Fair Work Commission grants ANMF protected industrial action ballot applications

Public sector EBA update #9: Fair Work Commission grants ANMF protected industrial action ballot applications

The Fair Work Commission today granted the ANMF’s applications for Protected Industrial Action Ballot Orders (PIABO).

ANMF made the application in response to the resolution members passed at the statewide meeting on 21 March. If the ballot is successful, members will have the option of taking a range of protected industrial actions at a later date once the current agreement expires on 30 April.

It’s important to note that the ballot will ask members to vote yes or no to a list of industrial actions. You are not voting to take industrial action; you will only be voting to have the option to take some or all of the actions at a time to be determined by a future statewide members meeting.

It is important that all members vote in this ballot and that all members vote YES in this ballot. A successful vote requires 50 per cent plus one of the eligible members in each health network or workplace to vote, and for more than half to vote YES.

It is essential your health network or smaller workplace meets both ballot hurdles to be able to participate in any protected industrial action campaign.


The ballot process

VERO, ANMF’s selected ballot agent, will set the voting timetable including when the voting roll will close and the ballot commencement date.

The ballot will close on 29 April.

This takes a stepped approach as follows:

  1. compiling a list of voters
  2. notifying voters
  3. opening of voting
  4. closing of voting
  5. declaration of the outcome of the ballot.

A. Compiling a list of voters

VERO will compile a roll of eligible ANMF members who can vote in the protected action ballot by removing all employees from the Employer List of Employees who are not on the ANMF Member List. This will leave a list of eligible ANMF members.

Employer list of employees

Your employer will provide VERO (via an encrypted or password-protected email address or portal), with a list of its employees (as at today). This will be a list of all employees covered by the proposed enterprise agreement, in the following format:

Column 1             Employee ID

Column 2             Surname

Column 3             First name

Column 4             Middle name

Column 5             Date of birth

Column 6             Work email address

Column 7             Private email address

Column 8             Mobile phone number


ANMF member list

The ANMF must provide VERO with a list of our members (as at the date of the order) employed by each of the employers in the following format:

Column 1             Surname

Column 2             First name

Column 3             Middle name

Column 4             Date of birth

Column 5             Work email address

Column 6             Private email address

Column 7             Mobile phone number

Column 8             ANMF membership number

The ANMF must also provide the list of members to VERO by way of encrypted or password-protected email that is accessible by VERO.

Your employer does not have access to the list of ANMF members.

The list of eligible ANMF members and the employer list of employees must be provided to VERO by not later than 4pm on the third working day after the order. If all the orders are issued today, that will be 4pm on 9 April 2024. In the event of any difficulties, the opening of voting may be delayed, but the closing date remains the same.


B. Notifying voters

Before the vote opens, VERO will issue a notice to eligible ANMF members that contains a copy of the protected action ballot order and include the following information and statements:

  • VERO’s contact details including telephone contact and email address details
  • the protected action ballot timetable including the opening and closing times of the ballot
  • information about how eligible ANMF members will receive their voting instructions and how they can vote electronically on the designated voting website using unique identifiers
  • a statement:
    – informing eligible ANMF members that the protected action ballot is to be conducted by electronic voting
    – inviting employees to contact the VERO if the employee believes that they should be included on the roll of voters
    – inviting employees to contact VERO if the employee believes that they should not be included on the roll of voters
    – inviting employees to contact VERO in the event that the employee has any concerns relating to the conduct of the protected action ballot, an
    – that the protected action ballot is to be conducted as a secret ballot and that employees are free to approve or not approve the proposed industrial action.

VERO will allocate each eligible voter a unique identifier, which will be a randomly generated internet voting password to access and vote on its ballot website.

Immediately prior to the ballot opening, VERO will issue eligible voters with an instruction sheet containing the web address for the voting website, each eligible voter’s randomly generated internet voting password, instructions on how to vote and any other material VERO considers relevant.

VERO will issue the instruction sheet by email to each eligible voter’s work email address and any private email address, where provided.

VERO will send an SMS to any mobile phone number for that eligible voter, where a mobile phone number has been provided.

For any eligible voters without an email address or mobile phone number, VERO will send the instruction sheet by mail to that person’s home postal address.

For any eligible voters on the list provided by the employer and identified as on leave for the whole period from the date of the order to the date the ballot closes, and who do not have a home email address or mobile phone number, VERO will send the instruction sheet by mail to that person’s home postal address.

VERO will ensure only eligible voters can access the voting website.

VERO will also ensure that the operation of the internet voting system provides that only an authenticated voter may vote, and only vote once in each ballot.

C. Opening of voting

Voting is likely to commence before 14 April 2024, earlier if the roll of voters has been completed earlier.

Each employer must ‘whitelist’ VERO’s domain name to ensure you receive the email delivery of ballot-related notices, information or other materials to all employees; and have access to the voting website from your places of work.

You can, of course, vote from home.

D. Closing of voting

The ballot will finish at close of business 29 April 2024.

E. Declaration of the outcome of each ballot

VERO will inform the ANMF, the employers and the Fair Work Commission of the ballot outcome as soon as possible after voting closes.

The next statewide members meeting – Tuesday 30 April 2024

ANMF will hold the next statewide members meeting in Melbourne on Tuesday 30 April. Please save the date.

We will confirm the time and venue in our next EBA campaign update.

Update your details now!

Time is running out to update your ANMF membership details to ensure you are on the list of eligible voters.

If the ANMF and your employer do not have matching correct details you will not get to vote with your ANMF member colleagues to support taking protected industrial action. This is because the ANMF must provide a list of members to the ballot agent, and each employer must provide a list of their employees who would be covered by the new EBA. Only those who appear on both lists will get to vote.

This can be tricky if, for example, your ANMF membership is under your married name, and your employer records are under your pre-married name. This is why it is critically important that you login to the member portal to check the contact details we have on file, and update them if required. Equally as important is to then ensure that your employer has the same correct details.

The details that must match include surname, first name, middle name, date of birth, work email, private email, mobile, postal address and if you work for more than one public sector employer.

The more ANMF members who participate, the more likely we will achieve a better outcome.