Sunday, July 05, 2009


Red News Readers,

Don't hold your breath waiting for the HSU to run an anti contracting out campaign. They have had 5 -8 years to run this campaign and where is it?

Jenny Haines

Hundreds of health jobs to go

Louise Hall Health Reporter,Sun Herald.

July 5, 2009

THE cash-strapped Sydney West Area Health Service has issued a call to all staff to apply for voluntary redundancy, saying the move will "streamline services" for patients.

The Health Services Union is urging hospital officials to reverse the decision to cut jobs and end the freeze on filling vacant positions.

"To cut more staff from the already strained health system will have a devastating impact," union secretary Michael Williamson said.

"You cannot expect measures like these not to have a direct effect on patient care."

The union believes the area health service - which runs Westmead and Nepean hospitals, and smaller hospitals from Auburn to Lithgow - has said 600 full-time-equivalent positions must go to meet this financial year's budget.

In May The Sydney Morning Herald revealed the hospitals frequently ran out of medical supplies because they owed suppliers millions of dollars in unpaid bills.
PricewaterhouseCoopers was appointed to "provide financial management support", in a sign that administrators were struggling to control their budgets.

Last week a spokeswoman for the area health service said front-line clinical and support positions would not be affected, and no one had been or would be sacked.

A very small proportion of the 20,000 SWAHS staff would be eligible for redundancy, she said.

"SWAHS has a responsibility to ensure that public funds are used effectively to provide care for the greatest number of patients," she said.

"The voluntary redundancies will have the potential of unlocking health-care dollars to increase patient treatment services."

At the Health Services Union annual convention last week delegates voted to campaign for adequate staff at all NSW public health facilities.

The union, which represents ambulance officers, clerical staff and radiographers, also opposes contracting out food production, linen services, cleaning, security and pathology.