Cold Cuts

Friday 05 Feb 2016

The health services have not exactly been forthcoming with detailed information about changes and cuts they are making, and planning to make.

At RPH we are told that they have identified savings, including reduced numbers of jobs, changes to shift rosters and workflows.  They have apparently 'remodelled' some work which means less staff, same output (or more overworked staff if their modelling is wrong!)  We are advised that the final numbers of jobs to be cut is yet to be determined and signed off.

Part of the current process includes RPH exploring options to outsource all medical typing to either an Eastern states, NZ, or Canadian company.  No timeframes or other relevant information is available yet. There will also be a significant restructure to fully integrate the management and operations of RPH and Bentley.  It is very reminiscent of the FSH takeover of Fremantle, but as with that change process we have no specific detail to provide to members about the management restructure or any changes to Allied Health services / roles.

We have been working with members in RPH and FSH EDs and after hours jobs on rostering changes and changes to how services are delivered.  Similar work is going on with members employed by RPH and Fremantle switchboards.

The restructure into the new East and South area health services is progressing, see here.  The new senior management structures are said to be cost neutral, that is, no extra funding has been provided for the extra senior bureaucrat jobs. This seems to have been achieved by gutting the area clinical management roles to pay for more mandarins.

Imaging West also faces an uncertain future with the possibility that 30 + staff will need to find new homes, and the complex web of services they provide to be absorbed into other services and already overstretched MIT Departments.  Interesting budget sharing discussions we hear.

Calls for expressions of interest in voluntary severance in SMHS have been heavily over subscribed, it seems given the chance a very large number of employees would go if they could.  We are told decisions are still being made, and that there is not a set timeframe  for concluding the process.

The story at PathWest appears to be that expected growth activity has not been realised which leaves the organisation needing to cut costs.  The future of PathWest is still be determined, the proposed review into the future governance of the organisation and any possible implications for staff are unknown.  We understand that the review has not started and , as far as we know, is due by 30th June. 

The Swan Districts closure has left some 66 employees in North Metro waiting on redeployment or possible voluntary severance.   Some 36 employees have expressed interest in voluntary severance and have been provided with information about what that might mean for them.  A small number have accepted packages, some other offers have been made, and we are waiting to hear about the extent of the severance offers and how many of the employees can be placed permanently.

There are services being cut at Fremantle, the after hours mental health services and Living Skills programmes have been abolished with inadequate notice to the union. 

The advice the union receives has usually been right at the end of the process, and they are at pains to tell us that they have consulted with employees.  Our experience is that notifications of change are not timely or enable members or the union to participate in a meaningful way in the process of consultation. 

Significant problems with contract extensions have been experienced across SMHS that seem attributable to the ever expanding layers of bureaucracy surrounding this process.  These delays result in fears of service closures and uncertainty about future employment across a number of sites.   The union intervened to successfully push through numerous extensions and will be pursuing improvements in this process during the upcoming consultation process. 

We will take these issues up with Health, but playing catch up is hard work.  To all members we say,   if you hear about a change or are having difficulties with new processes that effect employment,  tell the union as soon as possible.

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