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Together Conference determine union strategy for 2022

Together's Branch Conference met on Monday 29th November, to review all members accomplished in 2021, and set the agenda for 2022. A key focus for public sector delegates was how to respond to COVID-19, vaccination mandates, and safety in the workplace.

Branch Secretary Alex Scott spoke to delegates about the current circumstances in the public sector, and the challenges ahead in 2022. With some CHO mandates in place, and the potential for others to come, it's vital for all public sector employers to be planning their approach to vaccination requirements, to avoid a rushed and haphazard implementation.

However, because of a vocal minority who are vehemently opposed to vaccination, Departments are hesitant to make decisions about vaccination requirements for their workforce - despite significant support from employees.

Union members therefore have an opportunity to be a strong and decisive voice on this issue.

Delegates reported that members strongly supported employers asking staff to voluntarily disclose their vaccination status, to aid employers in assessing vaccination rates in the workforce.

Delegates also emphasised that COVID-19 workplace health and safety does not begin and end with vaccination mandates. They expressed their hope that workers could find a constructive and respectful way to move through the conversation around vaccines, so that energy can be devoted to other vital WHS considerations, such as social distancing, air filtration, and more.

Conference delegates resolved to survey the broader membership on their support for the following:

  • A consistent approach across the public service.
  • Supporting respectful conversations and mental health support in workplaces.
  • Regular consultation meetings with Together members and management.
  • Union members decide the union position on disclosure of vaccination status.
  • Union members decide the union position on mandatory vaccination.

To have your say, become a Together member today.