We’ve had another meeting with management to try and establish a fair and reasonable way to fill several positions in F&E without losing the integrity of direct employment through the THS.
To fill the positions quickly the THS intends to use labour hire, something we expressed our concerns about in our last update to members, and in a meeting held last week we asked them to still look at sourcing labour quickly but by directly hiring staff as casual THS employees.
With a scattered management structure in the NWRH and F&E we’re often dealing with acting managers who don’t always have the authority to make immediate decisions on such complex matters - in saying that, our concerns were acknowledged and they gave the undertaking that they will discuss the option with higher level management.
When trying to change employment practices and processes that could cause ongoing damage to present structures, employers sometimes want to meet with workers in small groups or one-on-one and sell it as a good thing for staff, but members shouldn't be bluffed by promises it’ll be better for them and lighten their workload.
It may lighten workloads in the immediate term but it’ll definitely harm things in the long run and could mean that when current directly hired employees leave their jobs, those roles won’t be advertised internally - jobs would be rolled into labour hire funding and all our roles could disappear, and the snowball effect from changes such as this can be quite frightening.
We’re waiting on a date for a meeting with the Deputy Secretary at Department of Health - the decision maker – and we’ll keep members in the loop. If anyone hears anything concerning, be sure to contact us on 1300 880 032.