Staff currently employed across NSHLD in Oral Health and BreastScreen services are to be redeployed to assist in the operation of Special Health Accommodation (SHA), which was established last year by SLHD to accommodate people with a positive COVID-19 test result, as well as others requiring medical or mental health support.
With the increase in members of the community testing positive and unable to isolate at home, the demand for SHA has increased. NSLHD has been called upon to assist staffing these facilities.
Members asked to redeploy have a number of questions, especially focusing on the scope of duties they will be required to perform, any risks to their household members, including unvaccinated adults and children. Some are also concerned about the impact work in SHA will affect their secondary employment at other health facilities.
To date, the union has obtained reassurance that no staff member will be forced to redeploy to SHA and will be redeployed elsewhere. Contrary to advice given by some managers, they should not be expected to take unpaid leave or paid leave if they choose to keep working. Unvaccinated staff must be redeployed elsewhere, as would any staff deemed vulnerable.
To facilitate travel to these sites, the Union has agreement that cab charge will be provided to assist in travel to and from the sites at North Ryde, Zetland and Mascot. Free parking at these sites is also provided. The SHA is staffed 24/7. Staff can negotiate shift times to suit their family and personal circumstances. Excess travelling time will also be paid. It is expected that at least two additional sites will open. The location of these is as yet unknown.
The Union has provided members’ additional questions to the NSLHD CE and the NSLHD Director of People and Culture and requested a joint meeting with staff, which is currently being arranged. If you have any questions or concerns, please forward them to your NSLHD Industrial Organiser, Denise O’Shaughnessy via email at Denise.OShaughnessy@hsu.asn.au.
If you have colleagues who are not yet HSU members, remind them that the union’s effectiveness is directly linked to the strength of its membership. New members can join online now at www.hsu.asn.asu/join or call 1300 378 679.