AS workers at the Bloomfield Hospital warehousing facility said goodbye to their workplace yesterday, the mood was sombre.
A year after operator HealthShare announced 16 jobs would go, in favour of a high-tech warehousing and distribution service based in Western Sydney to supply syringes, bandages, dressings, some special dietary needs and dialysis items, the warehouse ceased operations and the employees took the opportunity to enjoy a last lunch together.
Health Services Union representative Peter Iffland said HealthShare had redeployed four staff members into other areas of Orange Health Service. Ten staff accepted voluntary redundancies and two resigned.
“Two of them took a pretty big pay cut to keep an income, but you have to do these things,” he said.
Mr Iffland said all entitlements had been paid, but limited training opportunities were provided.
“One of the guys wanted to get his truck licence, but they wouldn’t pay for that, but we ran a few people together and got our forklift licences and some did [computer]training,” he said.
“I think they’re pretty much pissed off. One of them said, ‘I’m over it, let’s just move on’.”
He said his happiest memories were interacting with Bloomfield’s clients.
Member for Orange Andrew Gee said in a statement he was disappointed the warehouse was closing.
“I don’t think it should have shut and I did all I could to keep it open. It should have been mandated that country NSW was included in any new warehousing arrangements,” he said.
A HealthShare spokeswoman said the transition to contractor Symbion Pty Ltd was undertaken over a 12-month period, with strong staff and union engagement, and supply delivery would continue to be on time as required by health services.
“Increasing the efficiency of these support services realises greater value for money, which means more funds are available for direct patient care,” she said.