A Health District boss has promised to genuinely consider feedback on a staffing restructure that has already raised the ire of one union.
Southern NSW Local Health District chief executive Margaret Bennett also says she wants a reshuffle finalised by the end of the year.
Ms Bennett visited Goulburn on Tuesday to mark the "topping-out" of construction on the $150 million Base Hospital redevelopment. Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Health Minister Brad Hazzard were also in town for the event which celebrated the new clinical services building reaching its maximum height.
Mr Hazzard said the restructure, released earlier this month, wouldn't affect the new hospital's operation and it was about directing money where it was needed.
Ms Bennett told The Post the staff changes would bring stability.
"This issue has been ongoing for four years and while staff have continued doing wonderful work, it has resulted in them being in acting positions," she said.
"Having stability and clarity about roles and having a structure that sets up new jobs - in fact 27 in total - to take the District forward is central to what Southern can do to serve the community."
The changes also see 53 people in managerial and support roles "directly impacted," which the Health Services Union (HSU) says is code for phased out and eliminated positions. A further 94 jobs will have changes to reporting lines, clarification of work or grading.
The Goulburn Post also understands some facility manager positions will go in the proposed restructure.
The HSU claims there are numerous errors and anomalies in the 458-page document and there is no certainty for some positions beyond the state government's 12-month job guarantee for the public service. It has raised a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission on October 6 about the "lack of consultation."
Ms Bennett said there would be no forced redundancies.
"Our promise to the 53 affected staff is that they will be cared for and supported and do meaningful work until they can slide into a vacancy that will inevitably occur because we have about 447 new staff per year," she said.
Under the restructure, leadership positions in key areas like quality and safety, patient feedback and clinical governance will be established. Ms Bennett said for the first time the District would have directorships in obstetrics, anaesthetics, emergency and other medical categories.
"I think the absence of leadership in structured roles currently is something we need to address and I'm excited about those new positions and what they will enable," Ms Bennett said.
In response to union claims of numerous inaccuracies and anomalies in the document, the chief executive told The Post that the four-week consultation, due to end in two weeks, would answer all questions. So far, staff have lodged more than 500 submissions.
She said she was in no way defensive about the document.
"The consultation, as I've said to staff, is very genuine.
"I knew staff would come back with ideas that hadn't been properly explored or considered. The consultation is about as much co-design that we can bring in.
"... I've been impressed with the feedback. It's very thoughtful and we'll pick up as much of that as we can in the document that comes out at the end of the consultation."
Ms Bennett hoped the revised final restructure would be completed by the end of October.
This would be followed by a process of matching staff to positions and advertising internally and externally for new roles. She said it was important for staff to start the new year with security and clarity but some of the external advertising could flow over to 2021.
Meantime, the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association is studying the restructure's detail.
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