New Health Services... New jobs?

Wednesday 01 Jun 2016

The Health Services Bill 2016 has passed through Parliament and is awaiting Assent. Subsidiary legislation and regulations are also currently being prepared. The new Act will impact on our members from 1st July 2016, as the employer changes to the new area health service and board.

It is not only as a result of the creation of the boards and Health Support Services as employers but also because the Act imports provisions of the Public Sector Management Act including parts that have not applied to our members in the past, such as the right for employers to stand down employees without pay and the convoluted disciplinary processes.

We are advised that there will be regulations that facilitate redeployment between Health Services/Boards.  

It will take some time for us to fully appreciate the implications of the new Act, and we will need to see it in operation to see if there are any unintended consequences.

While most employees employed in HSS have been confirmed as being employees of the new entity HSS, there are some positions in Finance and a few in ‘HIN’ together with around 200 employees at Royal Street and possibly other locations around the city for whom the future is yet to be determined.

It is likely to be some time before these employees know whether their jobs will end up in the public service, or employed by a Health Service Board or by HSS. There will be an up to two year transition period for these employees, so there may be an extended period of uncertainty. There is ongoing consultation between the department and the union.

While the notifications of change are at the moment mainly restricted to PMH/PCH as they restructure in anticipation of the move to PCH, the impact of the previously announced changes are still being worked through, as are the redundancies. We expect a sizeable number will go in June as they have to meet the June 30 deadline.

In an answer to parliamentary questions orchestrated by Shadow Health Minister, Roger Cook , between the end of March 2015 and end of March 2016 1756 FTE were cut form WA Health (116 “FTE – 144 employees were voluntary redundancies).

These figures are for the year to the end of March 2016, at that time terminations from most of the redundancies were still to come. That is, the cuts will most likely be considerably more by June 30 2016.

While the Treasurer announced the lifting of the jobs freeze, the thaw is yet to be felt in Health as the Director-General maintained control of appointments until 30th June. We understand that some recruitment/pool processes are underway, they need to be, there are still far too many positions filled by employees on fixed term contracts, who should be permanent.

Get In Touch