What’s Happening In Health? | PSA Health Member Update | May 2020

26 May 2020

It has been a busy and complex few months with so many changes and issues happening with the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, and now the beginning of transition out of the crisis time. It is as important as ever for all PSA health members to be informed and work collectively. Below is a snapshot of PSA activities and issues in the health sector.

PSA Health Worksite Representatives (WSRs) Forums
The latest regular PSA Health Worksite Representatives Forum was held by Zoom conference on 7 May. WSRs from all over the state and different sectors met to share issues and discuss the changes to work practices due to COVID-19. The meeting was excellent and reinforced the critical roles our health members play, and how WSRs have adapted to continue to advocate strongly and support members in a different environment. We heard wonderful stories of WSRs and members building membership and acting collectively to resolve issues in this time. The next meeting will be held in August.

We continue to welcome more Worksite Representatives in Health
Have you considered putting your hand up or asking a colleague to be a Worksite Representative for your work area?

PSA Worksite Representatives receive formal training and are supported by their PSA Organiser. If you are interested in talking about becoming a Worksite Representative, contact your PSA Organiser, or click here.

Health transitioning out of COVID-19
As staff are transitioning from working from home, different work and changed work arrangements, consultation must occur with Health and Safety Representatives and your PSA WSRs and members. This is supported by the consultation clause in your Enterprise Agreement, and also by documents from the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment. Useful information is available from the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment and also Safework Australia.

https://publicsector.sa.gov.au/covid-19-workforce-considerations-for-the-south-australian-public-sector/

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces/other-resources/national-covid-19-safe-workplace-principles

SA Pathology and South Australian Medical Imaging (SAMI) wins against privatisation!
The PSA congratulates all members, and especially those working in SA Pathology, for their collective campaign to keep SA Pathology in the public sector.

As a result of PSA members’ campaign, and the incredible work of members during the COVID-19 crisis, the government recently announced that SA Pathology would not be privatised. See the PSA’s brief here.

The PSA is also pleased with the government’s confirmation that SAMI would not be privatised. This was a result of another strong campaign from SAMI members and all PSA members as part of our SA Not for Sale campaign.

Restructures and Voluntary Separation Packages (VSPs)
Unfortunately, as the COVID-19 crisis settles, the PSA is aware of a number of restructures commencing for the first time, or re-commencing after being paused during this period, and the VSP process across many LHNs will soon start again.

The PSA will always advocate for protection of jobs and member entitlements and a high standard of public sector health service. It is therefore critical that genuine consultation occurs, including about the impact on workload of any proposed restructure or VSP offer. The PSA involves members every step of the way. If you hear of a restructure or review in your area and you are not sure if the employer has notified the PSA (which they must do under your Enterprise Agreement), please contact your Organiser immediately.

Mental Health
There are a number of significant restructures, reforms and relocations across Mental Health that have also been placed on hold during the COVID-19 period. The PSA has already worked with WSRs and members prior to them being paused, and will continue to do so as they re-commence. If you hear of any changes in your area being proposed or implemented, contact your PSA WSR or your Organiser immediately, so that we can work with WSRs and members to ensure members’ entitlements and careers are protected, but also to ensure that the very best systems and models are put in place for mental health clients.

Enterprise Bargaining
Negotiations for your new Enterprise Agreement continue, and conditions affecting health members are in-scope as part of these negotiations. Keep yourself informed and involved during this time by following our PSA Updates and liaising with your WSRs. If you don’t have a WSR in your area, contact your PSA Organiser or click here to ensure that your voice is heard during this campaign. See the latest PSA Enterprise Bargaining Update here.