Alfred Health Cloth-eared on Radiation Therapy restructure

Alfred Health intends to roll out a new structure for its Radiation Oncology departments (at Alfred Hospital and Gippsland) from today, Monday 01 July 2019.

The new structure is conspicuous in that it dumps the Grade-6 Radiation Therapist position—it is simply gone. Management optimistically hope that generic operations managers will be able to perform work that was previously done by senior Radiation Therapy employees.

Management’s initial proposal aimed to remove both the Grade-6 and Grade-7 Radiation Therapy positions. However, this move was shelved after VAHPA argued that it would pursue Alfred Health for breaches of the Enterprise Agreement if this went ahead.

The Radiation Therapy workforce, together with VAHPA and Maurice Blackburn lawyers, has worked for over 12-months now in an effort to convince management that the new structure is seriously flawed.

These efforts include the submission of three detailed and well-reasoned position papers, two stories in the mainstream-media, circulation of a well-supported public petition, over a dozen rallies at radiation therapy centres across Victoria, multiple sessions at the Fair Work Commission, phone calls and letters to the Health Minister, the Premier’s office and the Department of Health and Human Services as well as hours of face-to-face meetings with management.

This work has been supported by Radiation Therapists from across the country who have weighed-in on the debate to condemn the model. Of particular interest to the workforce was the experience of Radiation Therapists in South Australia where the generic operations manager model has been trialled and after much upheaval, had been jettisoned and the decision reversed.

Sadly, this cacophony of concern seems to have gone unheeded by Alfred Health.

VAHPA Secretary Craig McGregor took aim at management earlier today, “We are staggered by the level of disrespect meted out to the Radiation Therapists here. The workforce couldn’t be any clearer: they despise the model and don’t want to work under it. Apparently, this doesn’t matter to Alfred Health.”

“VAHPA will continue to fight this injustice and for the integrity of the RT career structure no matter how long it takes; we look forward to the upcoming round of public sector bargaining,” concluded McGregor.