Health workers still locked out from new employment

FORMER Fraser Coast public health workers made redundant when their program was privatised say they are still being locked out of applying for a job with the new provider.

Home and Community Care workers on the Fraser Coast spent their last day at Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services on May 31 when not-for-profit group Ozcare took over the program.

The 35 staff feared they would not be rehired in the private sector due to a federal law that requires government employees hired within three months of leaving to be employed under public sector conditions.

A representative for Federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten assured the staff last month there was nothing to stop Ozcare from creating a new enterprise bargaining agreement that would put ex-Queensland Health staff on the same conditions as their existing employees.

However, one former HACC worker said ex-Queensland Health employees were still not being considered for the new jobs at Ozcare.

She said there had been cases where former HACC workers in Bundaberg had been rehired but so far workers on the Fraser Coast had not.

"Everyone just wants to have a fair go," the staff member said.

The worker's claims could not be confirmed with Ozcare.

The group's state manager for community care Damien Foley declined to comment.

Ozcare has been given about $200,000 funding less per year than Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services to provide the majority of HACC across the Wide Bay.

Home and Community Care funding

  • Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service received $9,114,776.36 to fund HACC services from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015
  • Ozcare was informed on May 3 it would be the new provider for most HACC services relinquished by Wide Bay HHS
  • Ozcare has received $5,692,326 in funding to provide the program from June 1, 2013 - June 30, 2015