Sacked health chief Pennington wants job back or compo

A sacked former Queensland health service chief executive has taken his case to the state's industrial umpire seeking to be reinstated.

Adrian Pennington was terminated from his $410,000-a-year position with the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service last September after more than seven years in the job.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles signed off on the dismissal in December.

Lawyers for Mr Pennington are seeking an order in the Queensland Industrial Relation Commission that he be reinstated or alternatively, that he be paid compensation for lost wages and for the pain, suffering, hurt and humiliation suffered as a result of losing his job.

Former Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Adrian Pennington.
Former Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Adrian Pennington.

Mr Pennington had more than two years of his contract left to run when he was terminated.

His dismissal followed tensions between the chief executive and the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service's board chair, Peta Jamieson.

Ms Jamieson sent an email to Wide Bay HHS staff in late September announcing the chief executive had been terminated "effective immediately".

The email came two months after a Facebook post Mr Pennington wrote "amid a mental health crisis" in July, which included criticism of the board chair. It was later removed.

Mr Pennington's crisis is understood to have followed relationship issues, the pending death of a close colleague and significant workplace stress.

 

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services board chair Peta Jamieson with her former chief executive Adrian Pennington.
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services board chair Peta Jamieson with her former chief executive Adrian Pennington.

Two WBHHS board members Joy Jensen and George Plint both resigned in the wake of Mr Pennington's dismissal.

Ms Jamieson has until January 29 to file a response to Mr Pennington's application before the QIRC.

A meeting between the parties and QIRC Deputy President John Merrell is scheduled for January 31.

Mr Pennington declined to comment.

The Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service board also refused to comment "while the matter is before the Commission".