Strike over job cuts at hospital

ALLIED health workers at Orange Health Service (OHS) have voted unanimously to walk off the job on Monday in protest over what a Health Services Union (HSU) spokesperson says are proposed job cuts in Orange.

Allied health comprises speech pathologists, pharmacy staff, physiotherapists, social workers, administration staff and community health workers at Orange hospital.

President of the Orange branch of the HSU, Helen Goodlock said when staff voted at a meeting on Thursday to take action there was an overwhelming sense workers had been let down.

“The efforts put in by allied health staff are part of the whole patient care, and our members work very hard to ensure the health of a patient.

“We want the community to be aware of what is happening and we want management to talk to us and tell us what is happening with job cuts,” Ms Goodlock said.

Director of allied health at Orange Health Service, Richard Cheney said he is keen to gather other management personnel and set up a dialogue with staff to allay concerns of job cuts.

“Of course we want to sit down and talk to everyone, not just union members.

“We do have some vacancies but we are in the process of doing some recruiting,” he said.

Among the resolutions passed unanimously at Thursday’s HSU meeting held in Orange was membership saying they are outraged and angry with management over their lack of priority to respond to the resolution endorsed at a meeting  on November 23.

They say they are also anxious that positions are to be deleted due to financial and budgetary issues meaning remaining staff will be forced to work unacceptable workloads.

There are also concerns over job cuts to mental health services involving their members.

Mr Cheney said there will be no reduction in services of allied health workers who travel to treat patients in smaller hospitals such as Molong, Canowindra and Blayney.

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