PSA Meets with Chief Executive - SA Health Update

19 August 2016

The PSA recently met with the SA Health Acting Chief Executive and the Deputy Chief Executive, System Performance and Service Delivery, at a scheduled quarterly meeting with SA Health to discuss Agency wide issues. A number of matters were discussed in the meeting, including the following:

SA Health Vacancy Management Controls
The PSA raised members' concerns in relation to SA Health's requirement to undertake strict vacancy management processes. The PSA was originally informed this was to enable redeployees and unattached employees to be easily placed into positions. However the PSA believes that nothing has changed except for the LHN's using this a a cost cutting exercise by restricting higher duties payments not filling or backfilling vacancies.

The PSA stated that if members were underpaid or had unreasonable workloads due to not filling vacancies within the LHNs then all industrial options would be explored to maintain members' rights and entitlements.

Previously the PSA has raised that there needs to be central control of employees declared excess or unattached. The Acting Chief Executive advised that they would prefer not to interfere at the local level as it was the Local Health Networks' responsibility. The PSA has also raised this issue as part of its submission to the 12 month review of Determination 7 with the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment.

The PSA will keep a close watch on this matter and welcomes member feedback.

Transforming Health
The PSA advised that the Transforming Health Implementation Committee Key Milestones Chart that was endorsed on 26 July 2016 is still not up to date as the new Royal Adelaide Hospital is still shown to open in November 2016. This chart does not show a true reflection of when services will move as there is currently no official date for Technical Completion. The PSA was advised that the department may know more in September, however until confirmed the dates on the chart will remain.

The PSA raised concerns that other areas are reliant on the new RAH opening and that this may affect their Transforming Health plans (eg SALHN services). The PSA was advised that the delayed RAH date will not delay the service moves in SALHN.

Child Protection Unit - APY Lands Team (WCHN)
In June 2016 the PSA raised concerns about the Women's and Children's Health Network's (WCHN) Child Protection Unit APY Lands Team contracts not being renewed. With the release of the Nyland Report subsequent recommendations, the PSA sought an update after being successful in gaining a three month temporary extension to the contracts.

SA Health advised there will be no guarantee that contracts will be extended. In light of the valuable work this team has done with local communities the PSA will be seeking early answers from the department.

The PSA will continue to advocate strongly for members and the services they provide and welcomes feedback at any time on any issue.