Notification of Dispute - Women’s And Children’s Health Network (WCHN) – Proposed Health Informatics, Planning, Performance and Outcomes (hippo) Unit Restructure, and Health Information and Decision Support Re-alignment

12 December 2018

The Public Service Association (PSA) has notified the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WCHN of a formal dispute in relation to lack of genuine consultation around the above Restructure and Realignment. The letter to the CEO can be found here.

PSA members would recall that as part of the consultation process, draft Job and Person Specifications (J&Ps) were not provided, so the PSA had to request those to ensure that the PSA and members could provide fully informed feedback about the proposals.

When these were eventually provided, WCHN also advised that some further updating was required. Consultation was extended with the receipt of the J&Ps, at the request of the PSA.

PSA members provided feedback to the proposals, including J&PS concerns, issues regarding proposed changes to reporting, scope of roles, and the need for all J&Ps to be completed prior to implementation to avoid any confusion and risk, rather than after implementation. This feedback was forwarded to WCHN.

WCHN provided a response to the PSA and staff on 7 December 2018. The PSA reviewed this response and on receiving contact from members, emailed WCHN on 10 December 2018 to advise there were matters WCHN had not responded to. The PSA also noted that despite this, WCHN had advised that implementation – i.e. the realigning of reporting lines of in-scope staff - would occur before the end of the calendar year.

The PSA advised that WCHN’s advice of implementation is a breach of Clause 34.1.4 of the South Australian Modern Public Sector Enterprise Agreement: Salaried 2017 (Agreement) and that genuine and good faith consultation has not occurred as is required under Clause 34 of the Agreement. The PSA advised that a formal notification of dispute would be forwarded to the CEO, and as part of that, status quo should apply until such time as the dispute was resolved – that is, no progression towards implementation.

The Director of Corporate Services, WCHN, responded to the PSA and advised that WCHN would continue to progress the realignment and that they believed that genuine and good faith consultation had occurred.

The notification of formal dispute to the CEO of WCHN was forwarded today. As noted in the attached letter, the PSA requested the following:

  • With the notification of this dispute the PSA advises that the status quo must apply and, as such, progression towards implementation of the proposed changes must cease until such time as this dispute is resolved.
  • The PSA requires WCHN’s urgent response in writing by 9:00am Wednesday 12 December 2018 as follows:
    •    Confirmation that the status quo as detailed above will apply until such time as this dispute is resolved.
    •    Commitment to providing responses to the others matters noted in this letter as requested by the PSA. This includes the provision of updated J&PSs to the PSA and employees for review, including an adequate period for the PSA to consult with members, and then the opportunity for the PSA and staff to raise any concerns or queries, prior to any implementation.

The PSA also advised that should these matters remain unresolved, the PSA will explore all other options, including notifying a dispute with the South Australian Employment Tribunal.

The PSA will keep members updated on this matter.