Topics:  dennis mullins, lesley dwyer, together union, voluntary redundancies, west moreton health services

Health lay-offs rise to 49 as union fears grow

Lesley Dwyer.
Lesley Dwyer. Contributed

WEST Moreton Health Service's promise not to force staff into redundancies has been mocked by union officials.

So far 49 staff have taken voluntary redundancies, with West Moreton Hospital and Health Service chief executive Lesley Dwyer saying any staff "displaced by organisational change" will be moved to suitable roles in other departments.

But Together Union lead organiser Dennis Mullins has claimed this is untrue, and there will be no jobs for staff caught up in departmental change.

"That's the reality. There are no other jobs," he said.

Ms Dwyer insisted there are no forced redundancies proposed within the service. "At this stage, the Health Service expects any staffing reductions will be able to be achieved through voluntary redundancies and natural attrition," she said.

"The Health Service is continuing to implement our Turnaround Plan.

"The focus of the plan is to improve the quality of health service delivery, streamline support services and to achieve efficiencies and savings wherever possible.

"Nearly all areas of the Health Service have been or are currently subject to review. At this point excellent progress has been made to improve the financial health of the Service and to return us to a balanced budget."

Ms Dwyer said finding the required $20 million in budget savings has focused away from sacking staff.

"The primary focus has been on administrative and support services areas, some opportunities for service improvement and efficiencies have been identified in some clinical areas, for example the Mental Health Service."

The West Moreton Health Board must identify the savings in its budget by March. Mr Mullins said the health board's priority was to have all of its voluntary redundancies finalised before May.

The board was told in August it would not be able to exceed their budget allocation, as had often been the case under the former Bligh Government.

The first cuts to staff were made in the Home and Community Care department and Ipswich Health Plaza.

That's the reality. There are no other jobs.



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