The West

Hospitals face more strikes
Hospitals face more strikes

A new campaign of industrial action will hit Perth hospitals today, with hundreds of support workers threatening to stop work over fears of job losses.

Cleaners, orderlies and catering staff at Sir Charles Gairdner, Fremantle, Kaleeya and Shenton Park Rehabilitation hospitals are due to go by bus to Royal Perth Hospital for a meeting at 1pm.

It could affect lunchtime food services, linen changes, general cleaning and orderly work at the five hospitals.

But the planned action hit a hurdle late yesterday when the union United Voice claimed that a management-initiated staff meeting at RPH might prevent some workers from attending its stop-work meeting.

It said the mass meeting would go ahead regardless.

The union claimed non-clinical workers have not been told what jobs will go when Fiona Stanley Hospital opens in October and other hospitals are downsized or closed.

A union spokeswoman said the WA Health Department had promised that concerns about jobs would be addressed but workers had not heard anything.

While the department had committed to providing alternative employment, workers were worried that natural attrition would not cover any job losses.

But the department denied yesterday it was keeping staff in the dark.

A spokeswoman said Royal Perth Hospital had started allocating permanent non-clinical and clinical staff to positions within its new 450-bed profile.

"Given the number of staff involved with the process, the allocation and notification of all staff is being undertaken progressively by clinical area," she said.

"Permanent WA Health employees will remain WA Health employees and all current fixed-term contracts will be honoured."

The department could not comment on the impact of industrial action planned for today because it was unaware of it until contacted by _The West Australian _.

The West Australian

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