Hunter Review update – what do you really think?

Posted on August 26, 2015

The Together Hunter Review Steering Committee met management yesterday and the following issues were discussed.

Business Services Review

On Monday 24 August the consultation paper on the Business Services Review was released for feedback. 

The consultation paper  can also be viewed on QHEPS and all business services staff should have received an email Monday afternoon on how to access the document and also how you are able to provide feedback.

The consultation paper is meant to bring together ideas and comments that have been received over the past few weeks from across the Department regarding the delivery of business services for the organisation. It is not a decision or draft decision, but rather sets out a model for business services as a basis for further consultation and feedback. 

The next steps is the Business service review committee will finish mapping positions, which will then inform the release of a business case due 4 September 2015 (Together reps noted that this was a Friday, and requested that if the document was to be released on that day, it should happen as early as possible so that impacted members are able to discuss with management prior to the weekend). DoH management advised mapping process will take into account a range of complexities in addition to the principles identified in the consultation document e.g. quantity of executive correspondence, complexity of budget management. There will then be another consultation phase for members to provide feedback on outcomes of mapping process.

Together delegates noted that the timelines for the competition of the Business services review had started to drift from those originally advised. Management stressed that release of consultation document was about being open and transparent and to let all members know what processes are being used, this has meant that timelines have been extended to ensure that there is better consultation with members.

It was noted that the document is confusing and that some members may focus on components of the document in isolation. Without broader context, this has the potential to cause unnecessary stress. Due to this Together delegates advised management that they must ensure proper engagement with staff this week to avoid any undue or unwarranted stress.  DoH management noted there are still positions missing, and welcome feedback from members regarding positions that have not been included, or have been included mistakenly.  Management are looking to finalise updated lists by Friday.

Delegates also asked for greater clarity for members on the proposed EOI process this will be sent out in the next day or so.

Delegates raised  that there are risks that some members may be de-skilled where numbers of similar positions (for instance, AO8 and AO7 business managers) are higher than proposed allocations under identified business service review principles.  This may result in some members being placed in areas away from their speciality.

Delegates sought assurances that the process would be appropriately managed to protect staff by ensuring that after mapping, that clear rationales for decisions are contained in business case for change. This would support more targeted feedback from members who may wish to dispute a recommendation on mapping

What can staff do?

  • Attend the staff forums being held at Butterfield Street Thursday 27 August 9am Auditorium UQCCR, RBWH campus Herston or QHB floor 3 Training room 1 and 2 Thursday 27 August 4pm.
  • Business services staff are encouraged to provide additional information regarding missing positions which may be in-scope for the review
  • Ensure that there is an open, transparent process by contributing to the change process by giving your feedback via to Hunter Review, in drop boxes, or via health@together.org.au the deadline for feedback is Tuesday 1 September 2015.

Vacancy Management Program

The department leadership team vacancy management program has been active since 3 August 2015.

All vacancies will be subject to the vacancy management process unless the Department Leadership Team approved exemptions for specific classes of positions. Overall staff numbers within the Department will not grow without DG approval but will also not decrease.

Vacant positions (including temporary and higher duties arrangements) will be approved to proceed to filling where the organisational need associated with the position outweighs the need to create capacity in a priority area.

It is important to note that one of the principals specifically states that "adequate resources are provided to service a Minister of the Crown e.g. support for budget, estimates, statutory requirements etc." This will mean that during this process if decisions are made that negatively affect resources in your area you will need to let the steering committee know.
The decisions being made during this period will need to be transparent and need to be able to withstand public scrutiny, either in an open merit process or EOI internally for shorter term arrangements while taking into account workload issues that stem from such vacancies. Each position is to be considered on a case by case basis.

Acting DDGs have been briefed that the VMP committee will be monitoring repeated ongoing three month extensions, which circumvent process and reduces scrutiny. 

If you have concerns regarding VMP process, or management not following VMP process, please let us know via health@together.org.au or the Hunter Review.

You can read the VMP documents here:

Temporary positions

The focus for the review team is on long term temporary staff, and a paper is being prepared for DLT regarding this issue.
A determination for temporary staff will be finalised by 30  October 2015.  We are advised that all temporary staff will be advised what their ongoing status will be after this date.

Accommodation

The accommodation plan was submitted to the Departmental Leadership Team (DLT) last week and changes are being made to this plan.  The next DLT meeting will be held on Monday and we anticipate that the plan will be released early next week for consultation.

DDG and senior executive positions

DDG positions have been advertised and interviews will begin for these positions in early Septembers.  It is unlikely that announcements on who the successful candidates are until early October. Commencement of the DDG’s will depend on if the candidates are internal applicants or external, as external applicants may start at later date. 

Update organisational charts

Doh management noted that organisational charts have been updated again.  You can view the updated charts here if you believe that there are corrections that need to be made please contact Hunter Review email address or via health@together.org.au

What's Next

The next piece of work will be the development of a draft implementation plan for the remaining recommendations.
On Monday the Department leadership team will review this draft plan and by the following week convert the draft into a documents for broader consumption.

This document will have a focus on the fact the new structure will not fix the culture of the department nor fix the siloing that currently takes place within the department.

The key focus of this document will be on developing business operating models to support enhanced collaboration across the department.

What should you do?

At times of change when there is uncertainty and when it is difficult to have instant communication rumours can develop. The Steering Committee is happy to put rumours to test with the Senior Executives that we meet with on a weekly basis. Please let us know if you have heard any rumours about your work area that we need to test.

Please share this communication with your colleagues and continue to be informed.

Ask your colleagues who haven't joined you as a member to join so that we have a strong and active union going into this major change.

If you have feedback questions or issues with the change you should let us know viahealth@together.org.au

We’ll be in touch again soon.

Connect today
1800 177 244
members@together.org.au
Connect today 1800 177 244 members@together.org.au