Documents obtained by the VHPA reveal that 70 Grade 3,4 and 5 positions are to be made redundant in a massive loss of skilled roles for Health Professionals at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
The major restructure is due to take place from now until April next year, with the aim of downgrading existing skilled roles into a smaller number of lower level Grade 1 and 2 positions.
In a letter to Team Leaders, Jacqui Caulfield, Executive Director Manufacturing, describes the changes as ‘the next phase of our journey towards becoming a great Manufacturer (sic).”
Health Professionals working at the Red Cross are appalled by the lack of consultation over the changes.
The lack of consultation so far makes it hard to take the following statement by the Executive Director Manufacturing seriously: “We all need support through this change and it is my hope that we will work together to support each other during this important journey.”
Even more disturbing is Jacqui Caulfield’s suggestion that the highly skilled Health Professionals employed there are anachronistic: “Our aim is to work with you to properly prepare the business and you personally for our new way of thinking and working.”
The VHPA is actively working to understand the full ramifications of the changes and to consult with members and the other Unions representing Red Cross employees.
“The VHPA will be using all the industrial and legal means necessary to defend the jobs and careers of Health Professionals at the Red Cross,” said VHPA Secretary Craig McGregor.
“We will also be raising concerns over the direction management is taking by deskilling its workforce.”
“The ‘race to the bottom’ approach of cutting wages and lowering skills doesn’t make economic sense.”
“This is clearly a distressing time for everyone at the Red Cross. It is essential we stick together and support each other through the Union,” said Craig McGregor.