Pat Mallon had been working at the Royal Adelaide Hospital for nine years when her Workcover claim was denied.
Pat Mallon had been working at the Royal Adelaide Hospital for nine years. Her work involved many repetitive arm movements such as lifting heavy mop buckets.
In 2012, the strain on her shoulder was too much and she suffered an injury at work. She reported the injury and took the day off.
Then in 2014 she experienced increased pain after undertaking her cleaning duties. She was told by her doctor that she needed surgery on her shoulder.
When she went to her employer Spotless to make a claim under Workcover, they told her that since the flare-up had occurred after working hours, she was not eligible.
Her claim was denied and she was told her injury was not work-related.
“I called the union office for help and they gave me legal representation straight away.”
United Voice filed a dispute on Pat’s behalf to the Worker’s Compensation Tribunal. Spotless continued to deny responsibility - for sixteen months.
“It was very stressful! I think most people in my situation would have given up.
“But I knew I was right, and I didn’t want to let them win.”
Finally, as a trial loomed in December last year, Spotless gave in. Pat’s claim was finally approved, and she could finally have the vital surgery to repair her shoulder.
“If I hadn’t fought, I wouldn’t have been able to have the surgery that I needed.
“I couldn’t be happier with the support I received from United Voice. They stood by me through the whole process.
“It took a lot of pressure off to know that I had legal representation as a financial United Voice member.
“It was a long process but my United Voice reps kept encouraging me and telling me we would win. It gave me confidence knowing that I had a strong union on my side.
“As a Union Delegate, I always advise members to be aware of what they’re entitled to and make sure they check everything carefully. If you’re not sure, call the union office.”