CI-23 – Review , Question, Dispute ?
Friday 25 Oct 2019
Since our last report we have met with most of the Health Service Providers and have secured stronger commitments from a number to progressing the Commissioner’s Instruction 23 process to ensure that assessments are completed this year.
NMHS have established a dedicated team to work on the reviews. The first groups of staff who have been assessed are awaiting an affordability review and re-deployment clearance. We'll be meeting with NMHS soon to get further details but NMHS is still at the early stages.
SMHS told us they have reviewed 729 FTCs, and of those 136 have been considered eligible for conversion to permanent. Of the 593 employees not considered eligible, 226 had not met the 2-year threshold, and the rest we are advised were considered ineligible because they have had breaks of service of more than 6 weeks each year. We now have a number of members who have asked for their assessment of ineligibility to be reviewed by the union and this work has begun. We have also written to South Metro, on behalf of all members, seeking clarification on the process applied and the accuracy of the assessments.
EMHS tell us that they plan to have reviewed all Health Professionals and associated Assistant positions by the end of November. The review of Clerical and General positions will follow with significant progress expected by the end of 2019.
PathWest have reviewed approximately one third of their FTCs and are increasing the staff numbers on their review team. So far 20 employees have been converted under CI-23 with another 35 eligible but waiting on other recruitment processes.
CAHS advise that they are on target to complete their initial assessments by the end of November.
WACHS currently have a team of four staff working on CI-23, with approval to add an extra 6 FTE to get the project moving. They are reviewing region by region and are close to finishing the Goldfields. Other regions being reviewed currently are Central Office; Great Southern; Kimberley; Pilbara.
HSS advise that they are on track to have assessed FTCs by the year’s end, and project that they will have between 90 – 95% of their workforce employed permanently by the end of January 2020.
There are ongoing discussions with the Department and the HSPs about how CI-23 is being applied, especially in relation to the stated reasons for contracts, what constitutes a ‘same or similar role’, and ‘ongoing funding’ and positions (known as ‘affordable FTE’).
We think CI-23 is so far not delivering the promised conversion rates as we finally see some outcomes delivered. While Health was always going to be more complex than other agencies, the ambitious targets initially publicised are clearly not going to be met.
There are queries/disputes emerging from members who have been told that they are not eligible to be made permanent. We are working with members on request, to review their assessments and the documents relied upon to make the assessment.
We are also continuing to negotiate with the employers to try and get a consistent and shared understanding of the reasons people have been denied permanence. We may need to ask the Arbitrator to give some guidance on how appeals should be handled.
The positive take away does seem to be an emerging recognition by the various HSPs at meetings that a permanent stable workforce is an objective worth pursuing. There is an understanding that this would deliver benefits not only to employees but to HSP budgets and patients. We believe we can continue to turn this process in to a long-term trend back in the direction of more permanent and secure employment.
Should you question your outcome?
If you have been told by your employer that you are not eligible to be made permanent, then you may want to consider investigating it further. We know the HSPs will interpret some of the criteria differently.
As more assessment decisions come out, we will report on how fair and accurate the process has been applied. Remember there is a range of criteria to be met - particularly important to note is that if you have less than 2 years’ service you are not eligible under CI-23. However, while we know many assessments decisions will stand up, some simply won’t.