The rationale for severance

Thursday 31 Mar 2016

When it has come to the rationale for the reduction in positions in health, the inventiveness of senior health management knows no bounds. They have given every reason but the real one, that is, the Government made a real cut in the Health budget in the face of ever growing demand.

SMHS are now providing the union with rationales for abolishing positions to meet their ‘financial recovery programme’.   We are working to distribute copies of this information to affected members, which is made harder by the fact the employer has not provided us with the names of affected employees.

It is not entirely clear how many positions have been lost in WA Health so far this year. Hundreds of positions have been lost through the offers of targeted voluntary severance. From what we know so far, about 500 positions and staff were let go as part of this first major push to reduce employee numbers.

In addition, a number of positions have ‘disappeared’, such as positions that have been left vacant for some time, and then abolished. Another example of this is where fixed term contracts have not been renewed and the positions then quietly abolished.

This is now being supplemented with, by what seems to be an open ended process to offer voluntary severance to more agencies.



In NMHS the focus was on offers to ex Swan Districts employees, but the offer has now been extended to include PathWest, see here. In SMHS the targeted number was originally about 250, although this does also appear to be open to latecomers. So if you work in SMHS and you are so inclined then you should express an interest by contacting your manager or local HR.

Further the voluntary severance net has now been extended to employees at Health Support Services, and DOH employees at Royal Street, Brockway Road, and Grace Vaughan House, Shenton Park.

Public comments by senior managers indicate that this may well not be the end of the process as a number of health services remain either over budget or under activity. No-one is holding their breath that this year’s health budget will improve the situation.

If you need advice or assistance about voluntary severance or redeployment please contact the union office on or 9328 5155.

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