Job Cuts And Restructures at SA Pathology Will Cause Workload Problems and Impact on the Quality of Service | Have A Say!

01 August 2019

SA Pathology has begun a process of job cuts and rolling restructures with tight time-frames for consultation with staff and their representatives.

They have gone about this process in a back-to front way. Firstly they have called for expressions of interest for TVSPs, then proposed new structures on the basis of who has put their hands up rather than what is the best way of running the service. Their plan is to then review and adapt once the job cuts have been made.

There has been no workload assessment done as part of the process. Members have concerns about the quality of service that can be delivered with possibly 200 fewer staff in the system. Already members have heavy workloads and are doing a large amount of overtime.

The PSA has written to SA Pathology seeking the inclusion of the issue of workload in the high level consultation committee and the establishment of local workload committees in all areas under review. Please see the letter here.

This arises from clause 15 of the SA Modern Public Sector Enterprise Agreement: Salaried 2007 ( SAMPSEAS) Workload Management.

The PSA believes the process of two week rolling consultation for each area is not the appropriate way to cut staff as it does not give staff enough time to consider the impact on their work or allow for staff to comment on the impact of change in one part of the organisation on another. There needs also to be an opportunity for staff within the health system to comment on the proposed changes because they may impact on the patient care.

The PSA has no confidence that making massive cuts to SA Pathology will save it from the Government’s privatisation agenda. In fact, the current process could be viewed cynically as merely a way to make the organisation leaner in order to privatise more easily.

Public Pathology services have a clear purpose that focuses on the public good.

SA Pathology is responsible for ensuring all South Australians, regardless of their background, location or circumstances have access to the best quality diagnosis. It ensures speedy delivery of results in order to maximise the chance of effective treatment. It also ensures high public health standards now and carries out crucial independent research to improve health outcomes for the future.

Private companies are profit driven and will not undertake unprofitable activities. We must keep SA Pathology in public hands.

Have a say about the future of SA Pathology
PSA members are asked to comment on any element of any proposed restructure or any of the processes currently being undertaken.

We will then raise these issues at consultative forums and processes on your behalf.

The following areas have released their proposed structures so far:

  •  Collection Centres
  •  Chemical Pathology
  •  Anatomical Pathology
  •  Genetics and Molecular Pathology


As proposals are released, please send in your comments and issues.