Quick work by the VHPA put the proposed job cuts by the Red Cross Blood Service under the media spotlight last week.
In a rare example of negative coverage for the Blood Service, The Age Online publicly exposed the plan to de-skill its workforce after being tipped off by the VHPA.
As reported in last week’s HP Update, employees were shocked by news that 70 highly-skilled positions are to be made redundant.
The job cuts are part of a major re-orientation by the Red Cross Blood Service that involves creating 50 lower-level positions.
“The ‘race to the bottom’ approach of cutting wages and lowering skills doesn’t make economic sense and could seriously affect the quality of the products they produce,” said Craig McGregor, Secretary of the Victorian Health Professionals Association.
As the Blood Service is a national operation, the VHPA is working with unions, including those in other states, on a combined strategy to oppose the changes.
Protest activities are being planned starting next week while the VHPA is also actively seeking further consultation with management of the Red Cross Blood Service.
Union offers confidential advice
With many Blood Service employees worried about their future, the VHPA is aware that members may be reluctant to speak out about the changes.
Members are encouraged to contact VHPA Organiser Jay Morrison for confidential personal advice regarding their circumstances.
“It is important we find out what the intentions of members are – whether you want to stay at the Blood Service, accept a lower position, or take a package. Please give me a call to discuss your options. I’m happy to arrange a time after hours if that helps,” said VHPA Organiser Jay Morrison.
“Besides offering individual advice, the VHPA will also be seeking to hold meetings in the near future.”
“These sorts of organisational changes have the potential to pit work colleagues against each other.”
“However our experience is that people should continue to work together through the Union rather than feel isolated and powerless,” said Jay Morrison.