Outlook improves for North Metro Members

Friday 01 Jun 2018

The sudden departure of former Chief Executive, Wayne Salvage, mixed with rumours of massive budget shortfalls in North Metro Area Health Service created fears of yet more job cuts for North Metro members.

The union wrote to the Service seeking consultation and we are pleased to report that the situation is nowhere near as dire as originally feared. The Union was advised that NMHS are still getting to grips with the exact financial situation but that there are no immediate plans to cut jobs.

They have asked and received support from the Department of Health to work towards a 3 year plan to create a financially sustainable service. NMHS advised that there are also plans underway to look at the mix of work undertaken at some sites, and at activity levels, plus that the focus on the financial situation will be shifted to consider effective cost management and waste reduction strategies.

We were also advised that the program being run by PwC has closed and the consulting groups’ focus will shift to assisting with workshops looking at models of care. Members had expressed considerable frustration about difficulties with approvals to hire, even for fixed-term contractors. We were very pleased to hear that permanent hiring is underway for a range of positions and, subject to the usual approvals, can now proceed as normal.

Importantly NMHS is keen to establish a Joint Consultative Committee with the Union. This Committee will aim to ‘resolve matters through discussion and negotiation with a view to reaching agreement in a timely manner’. This is a very positive development and fits with the claims made as part of the new Enterprise Agreement. We have been given a draft Terms of Reference document and will be communicating further with members soon about next steps.

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