Until the Public Health Order (PHO) is published (supposedly within a fortnight of the announcement on Tuesday 12/10/21) we won’t know the full scope of what the governments' announcement means.
Our interim legal advice is that the State Government have the constitutional right to mandate vaccination. However, there are a number of Supreme Court (SC) cases taking place challenging that position.
If these challenges are rejected by the SC then these PHO’s will become law. We don’t make these laws, nor like them, but once established there will be little unions can do to change them, and subject to the full scope of the PHO it will be incumbent on employers to allow vaccinated workers only onto resource industry sites.
If the SC’s decide that the State Government do not have the right to mandate, then it’s a different scenario and the ETU and other unions will have the ability to represent members who are dismissed or discriminated against for refusing the Covid vaccines.
If you have any medical questions regarding the safety or efficacy of the vaccines for yourself please see your GP for advice.
If you don’t see the PHO soon please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll forward a copy, with an explanation on the scope if it changes anything advised above.
Also, as an aside, we’re told there are organisations claiming to be ‘unions’ seeking membership to represent workers who don’t want the vaccination. Please be aware that they have been set-up to divide workers and cannot do anything more in the legal system than the bona-fide unions.
Furthermore, they do not have constitutional coverage to represent electrical tradespeople in the matters that we do on a daily basis like pursuing wage rates, allowances, workers comp, EBA’s, LSL, disciplinaries, redundancies, elec licensing, training, apprentice issues and more.
ETU WA Secretary