Are Health Professional job title changes cause for concern?

Tuesday 28 May 2013

The HSUWA has for some time been aware of plans by WA Health to make changes to employee job titles.

It's our understanding that the aim is to bring some consistency to job titles for Health Professionals.

Across a broad range of positions, that should not be a controversial issue, especially in traditional Health Professional positions at P1 and P2.

But if you have co-ordination, managerial, or head of department functions in your position then we believe the job title should accurately reflect the role being performed and not try and shoe-horn positions into one size fits all titles.

Similarly, in generically titled positions, the choice of titles should reflect the role and what the public might reasonably expect, for example, re-titling a Counsellor as a Health Professional would leave many people confused and uncertain about the services being provided.

Are titles important?  In the classification system the answer in our view is yes, many job titles have been determined in arbitrated decisions of the Industrial Commission.  Some of the information we have seen also attempts to differentiate position titles by staff numbers, which is a key component of work value.

The HSUWA has been asked by members to take up these issues with WA Health.  We have met with the Chief Health Professions Officer who is the executive sponsor of the naming project, and we will be seeking meetings with Health IR as well, including making application to the Public Service Arbitrator if required.

Is your position having its title changed?  Send us any information you have received to and we will take up these issues and seek a negotiated outcome.

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