Meeting with the Hon Brad Hazzard MP, Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research
PSA Delegate and Central Councillor Julie Westacott, along with General Secretary Stewart Little, Industrial Manager Kris Cruden and Industrial Officer Carmel McKeough met with the Hon Brad Hazzard MP, Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research on Tuesday, 28 February 2017.
The PSA raised the following issues:
- The importance of consultation and the need for the Ministry of Health to adhere to Agency Change Management Guidelines when considering a restructure, however small the proposed changes may be.
- The proposed relocation of the Ministry of Health to St Leonards, the possible consequences in terms of further organisational change, and the need for consultation with staff and unions earlier rather than later in the process.
- Concern about the number of contractors in the Ministry of Health, which means fewer opportunities for ongoing roles for our members. It was also noted contractors were attending training programs then leaving the Ministry at the end of their contract having received extensive training at taxpayers’ expense.
The PSA advised the Minister health bureaucrats perform key functions such as developing initiatives to improve public health and reduce the incidence of disease which benefits patients and families across NSW. This is in addition to supporting the Minister in terms of his legislative program and ensuring he is briefed for each Parliamentary sitting week. Rather than being dismissed as just a bureaucrat in North Sydney, their contribution to the health system needs to be recognised and their jobs protected.
The PSA requested consideration be given to briefing health unions about the State Budget in June 2017. This was a practice which occurred in previous years, but has recently lapsed.
We agreed that we have common goals to achieve a strong health system for the people of NSW but would have our differences from time to time. The meeting was very productive, as Minister Hazzard was receptive to our requests for improved consultation.
What you can do
If changes in your workplace are proposed, ask your managers about the policies they will be guided by and how they will ensure their proposals comply with Agency Change Management Guidelines. View the Agency Change Management Guidelines HERE.
Also get in touch with your delegates in the Ministry of Health:
- Julie Westacott
- John Bertacco
- Peter Gilfedder
You can also contact the PSA’s Member Support Centre for initial advice on 1300 772 679.
If your matter is complex it will be referred to one of your union’s Industrial Officers.
You can support the work of the PSA and your local delegates by asking your colleagues to JOIN the Union.