CI 23 – Change of Direction Needed

Monday 19 Aug 2019

To be blunt, when you’re on a slow road to nowhere it makes perfect sense to change direction. This pretty much sums up the current state of play with CI-23. This is the message we gave to the Minister when we met, and followed up in our letter.

We’ve also taken this message over the past few weeks to the Public Sector Commission, Public Sector Labour Relations, the Health System Manager and the HSPs.

One year on from the announcement of the review and the figures recently provided to the union are extremely disappointing. We have been provided with figures by the Public Sector Commission that show that in Health (as at the end of June):

• a total of 916 fixed term contracts have been reviewed with only 34 people gaining permanent employment; and

• a further 3,893 fixed term contract employees are waiting to have their employment status reviewed.

Applying the same rate of conversion, does this mean less than 200 employees will be made permanent from this laborious and bureaucratic farce?

It's not acceptable.

We know that the HSP's are resistant to the concept of permanent employment with an average permanent workforce of about 65%. Based on the current progress and outcomes for CI-23, the overall levels of permanent employment look unlikely to crack 70%.

We don’t think this means the HSPs are meeting their obligations under the EBA to preference permanent employment.

We know this government wants there to be more permanent employment in Health and across the public sector more broadly. Minister for Industrial Relations, Bill Johnson, told a parliamentary committee back in May 2018 that there were: “24 700 fixed-term employees and over 11 000 casual employees. We think we can convert over 15 000 of those employees to permanency.”

We’re sure the Minister wasn’t plucking those numbers out of parts unknown and that his advisors were reasonably confident that this was achievable. However, based on current and projected numbers CI-23 project is an abject failure. Possibly less than 200 employees in the HSPs to be made permanent vs the promise of about 2,000 Health employees gaining job security.

The unions have proposed some significant changes to the process under CI-23 for Health. We are actively working with every stakeholder on this issue. We aim to cut through the bureaucratic resistance and make permanent jobs the rule rather than the exception.

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