Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN) Mental Health (MH) Senior Management Restructure (Professional, Clinical and Operational) | Dispute

15 May 2018

Following the release of the proposed NALHN MH Senior Management Restructure in November 2017, extensive feedback was received from members and a substantial response was provided to NALHN by the PSA on 1 December 2017. The PSA’s response document was forwarded to members in a PSA Information Update on 5 December 2017.

Since that time, the only further written documentation provided by NALHN has been a consolidated feedback document, which was forwarded to members in a PSA Information Update on 15 January 2018. A dispute was lodged against NALHN by the South Australian Salaried Medical Officers Association (SASMOA) in relation to this matter, and as such the only updates provided by NALHN management at subsequent NALHN Industrial Liaison Forums (ILFs) or NALHN MH Consultative Committees has been that the Restructure had been placed on hold and status quo remained due to this dispute.

No further written communication, including any response to members’ feedback, has been forwarded by NALHN. The PSA was therefore surprised and concerned that at the last NALHN ILF on 9 May 2018, NALHN’s Executive Director of Human Resources and Workforce reported that recruitment was commencing for the new Director of Nursing (DON) MH – the role that was proposed to replace the current multi-classified Director of MH role.

The PSA wrote to the Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NALHN on 10 May 2018 notifying of a dispute with NALHN. The PSA asserted that recruitment for the DON MH role, in the absence of a response being provided to the PSA’s feedback and members having an opportunity to review this response, was a breach of the genuine and good faith consultation requirements set out in Clause 34 - the consultation clause – of the South Australian Public Sector Enterprise Agreement: Salaried 2017 (EA). In this letter, the PSA sought:

  •     Urgent confirmation by 12:00pm on 11 May 2018 that status quo would apply as required by the EA – that is, further recruitment to, and implementation, of, the Director of Nursing MH role would not proceed until this dispute was resolved; and
  •     That a response to the PSA’s feedback, and how NALHN intended to engage in consultation around that, be forwarded by 5:00pm on 15 May 2018.

No response has been received from NALHN in relation to the request for status quo. As a result, the PSA has now written to the Chief Executive of SA Health seeking this confirmation by 12:00pm 15 May 2018. This letter to SA Health, which also includes the PSA’s correspondence to the NALHN Interim CEO on 10 May 2018, can be found here.

If confirmation of status quo is not received from SA Health/NALHN as requested the PSA will proceed to lodging a Notification of Dispute in the South Australian Employment Tribunal to ensure that members’ rights to genuine and good faith consultation are upheld as required by the EA.

The PSA will continue to keep members updated.