Staff mistreated: union

RPH Shenton Park patient care assistant and United Voice union delegate Mark Hayward said patient care assistants, cleaners and catering staff employed by private contractor Serco were told to apply for transfers to other public hospitals.

Mr Hayward said seven food service attendants accepted new positions at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital about three months ago but their jobs were suspended without explanation last fortnight.

‘My colleagues were given ID badges and uniforms on the Wednesday and told to report for duty the following Monday,’ he said.

‘On the Friday afternoon they each received a phone call to say their jobs had been cancelled. It has left a bitter taste with these workers and morale has taken a nosedive.’

He said the State Government’s further 10 per cent efficiency cuts, closure of 48 beds and 250 staff job losses at SCGH had left non-clinical staff with ‘no other option’ but going on the redeployment list.

‘Nobody trusts any information we are getting and there is little information about the nuts and bolts of the redeployment process,’ he said.

‘There is an overwhelming feeling of melancholy at our hospital, as well as betrayal and abandonment that we are being sacrificed on the altar of privatisation to boost (private contractor) Serco’s profits.’

A South Metropolitan Health Service and North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS) spokeswoman said there were six food service positions cancelled and not seven as claimed by Mr Hayward.

They were cancelled because they had not been approved by the SCGH chief executive, she said.

‘The NMHS apologises for any inconvenience and uncertainty to those involved and understands that in relation to permanent staff, they continue to have employment with WA Health.

The events preceded introduction of the efficiency project at Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group. Since then three have secured a permanent transfer to King Edward.

A Human Resources Transition Unit has been established to assist staff,’ she said.