GWAHS cuts continue


The region’s health service has continued its aggressive push to “streamline administrative services” by “restructuring” the jobs of a large number of employees just days before Christmas.

The Daily Liberal yesterday learned there are up to 25 people employed by Greater Western Area Health Service (GWAHS) who will be imminently told that as a result of the amalgamation they will be “displaced”.

In a claim refuted by GWAHS, the source, who asked to remain unnamed, said the younger employees will lose their jobs but remain “salary maintained” while senior employees will be told they have 12 months to find another job.

In a brief statement prepared by acting GWAHS chief executive Trish Strachan the health service claimed that under the move “no staff had been sacked or dismissed”.

The merger of Macquarie, Mid West and Far West health services to create GWAHS was undertaken in 2004 to combine administrative services in a bid to save the health service up to $100 million over two years.

Mrs Strachan said in this recent bout of cost-cutting measures GWAHS were able to “centralise a number of services such as payroll, human resources and accounts payable”.

She refused to disclose exactly how many people will be affected by the move.

“Staff are being supported to develop new skills or apply for positions,” she said. “GWAHS has employed an independent education provider who has been working with many of these employees on career mapping and personal development.

“The Employee Assistance Program is also available to assist.”

The comments mirror a pledge made by GWAHS chief executive Claire Blizard in June last year “there will be no sackings” in the health service, but “staff jobs are likely to change”.

“As a result of the amalgamation, we identified a number of administrative and management positions that were duplicated throughout our area health service,” she said.

“We are working with a number of our staff whose positions have been affected to identify opportunities for retraining, redeployment and upskilling. “

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