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Wednesday 26 Feb 2014

The union's online survey is drawing to a close and the results to date draw a picture of healthworkers under pressure and anxious about the future.

Over half of respondents were trying to cope with excessive workloads and not enough time to complete their tasks. 

This is backed up by the daily shared stories of too much work, related attempts to remove workplace flexibilities, and increased emphasis on blunt instrument performance targets.

About 65% said they had experienced cutbacks in services and resources, with a matching decline in the quality of service they are able to offer. 

The most public of these recent cutbacks has been the 67 FTE reduction in allied health, technical and clerical positions at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Osborne Park Hospital, see the ABC News story here.

The extra workload, attacks on workplace flexibilities and cutbacks to services means healthworkers are feeling less secure. Nearly half of the respondents employed on a permanent full time basis said they feel less secure than a year ago. 

The explosion in the use of temporary employment arrangements across all categories of work is undermining employees' confidence. 

The Barnett Government's legislation introducing compulsory redundancy is also driving the uncertainty.

The general sense of unease in the workplace is also translating into strong support, over 85%, for pay increases well above State Government wages policy.  Most respondents supported claiming the same increases as the ANF secured for nurses.

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