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What is a ‘campus’ and why does it matter?

What is a ‘campus’ and why does it matter?

Paul Gilbert, ANMF (Vic Branch) Assistant Secretary

One of the less notable changes in the 2020-2024 EBA was, for the first time, a definition of what is a ‘campus’. Don’t turn off just yet, because a lot turns on this definition. The term campus is mentioned in the EBA 193 times!

What were we trying to fix?

A few things actually, including:

  1. Since 2000, successive EBAs have required a Director of Nursing (DON) be appointed for each campus, and After Hours Coordinators be in place in the off-duty periods of the DON. Some sites that ANMF considered as a campus were denied by the health service as being a campus. While we intuitively know what a campus is, that doesn’t mean we can always prosecute that view successfully.
  2. Many classifications attracted different grades depending on the number of beds at the hospital. Once upon a time bed numbers were published. But not for a very long time. Counting beds is akin to herding cats, and we needed something more concrete and transparent.
  3. Members were being appointed to a health service, rather than a campus, leading to assertions by some employers that staff could be sent to any campus. We wanted to address this where possible and appropriate.
  4. Grades for some classifications turning on whether they were single campus or multi-campus.

So, what replaced bed numbers?

Appendix 8 includes a list of campuses in existence when we concluded negotiations for the 2020-2024 EBA. Each named campus is allocated into a group, reflecting (hopefully) the size and complexity of the health service. We can have disputes about where a campus should fit, particularly if it changes in size of complexity.

The grade (and therefore salary) that applies to DONs, Deputy DONs, After Hours Coordinator and the like now depends on which group your campus is listed in.

Similarly, any named campus must comply with the EBA requirements that depend on them being a campus.

Can I be required to work at another campus?

Nothing in the EBA says you can, nor does it clearly say you cannot.

Some roles are clearly multi-campus, and accordingly you can work across multiple campuses. Most however are not.

Some members are happy to pick up an extra shift at another campus, these rules would not apply in those ad hoc circumstances.

The EBA does however contain provisions that apply where you do work at a campus (at the employer’s request) that you wouldn’t usually work at, or you are asked to work at another campus because your ward is closing. These provisions do not apply to casuals, or standalone CHC employees.

To make this work, we had to include an additional definition of “Base Employment Campus” which means the campus at which you ordinarily start and finish work.

Where you temporarily relocate from your Base Employment Campus to another Campus during a shift, you will be paid the vehicle allowance and the travel will occur within paid time.

Where you temporarily relocate from your Base Employment Campus to another Campus prior to a shift, you will:

  • be reimbursed for additional travelling cost (where applicable) excluding time spent travelling (which is addressed at (b) below); and
  • where travel time increases by 15 minutes or greater (to and return) be paid an allowance equal to your ordinary rate for the additional time spent when compared to your travel time to the Base Employment Campus.

Other arrangements apply where the proposed relocation is permanent.

While, for convenience, a list of campuses is in the Appendix, there is also a full definition, as follows:

(j)          Campus means a site operated by an Employer that provides day procedure surgery or multi-day inpatient services or residential aged care but excludes:

(i)          a site that is a Community Health Centre;

(ii)         a site where the only service is Aged Care beds that do not meet the definition of High Care beds under the Safe Patient Care Act;

(iii)        Dental Health Services Victoria;

(iv)        Private residences; and

(v)         a Campus during any period of a formal written Agreement signed by the ANMF Branch Secretary and the Employer made after 24 August 2020 and before 1 July 2021 specifying that the campus is excluded from the operation of this clause,

provided that a satellite service co-located on a Campus controlled by another Employer is not a separate Campus for the purposes of this Agreement.