Last week we held our meeting with Fiona Young, Karen Schnitzerling and Paula Cooper to discuss all things BDHS.
Discussions centred on a number of key issues:
- Addressing problems around the roll-out of the request roster. In short, several individual cases have been sorted and others are now being looked into. THS also committed to provide further information on how to best use staff requests. We reiterated that we were concerned about the new roster making short-staffing worse. THS didn’t agree but committed to an open and transparent review process. Think short-staffing has got worse? Lodge a SLRS and send us a copy for the review.
- Conversion of some long-term casuals to permanent part time. One case is currently being assessed and others who believe they may have a claim are encouraged to come forward.
- The introduction of a 12-month trial of the Safe Staffing Model for District Health. This will lead to extra fixed term nursing contracts as well as implications for HCAs which should help alleviate chronic staff shortages on shift.
- New uniform roll-out. Some comments were made about the length of time it's taken and the lack of protective clothing for some workers. At our request the THS workplace health and safety advisor will be conducting risk assessments with a view to some changes in the uniform guidelines.
- People being discouraged from using the SRLS. We made it clear that we promote all workers at BDHS to report any hazard or incident, including staff shortages, through the SRLS. All agreed that this was the correct procedure and that staff would in future be encouraged to use it whenever they felt it was warranted without any fear of getting into trouble. Further training would also be provided, and management reminded of correct processes.
- Other WH&S issues were discussed, including some worrying complaints about bullying and harassment. Karen agreed to put out an all staff memo around this and we are currently investigating further.
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