Our campaign for proper office accommodation continues



Last week we told you how the use of open plan offices contributed to a training accreditation failure in South Australia.

Absurdly NSW Health continues to push for more open-plan hot-desking (agile work spaces) arrangements for staff.

While they claim they are embracing “modern work arrangements”, the key driver is cost-saving, with fewer internal structures and more fluid use of space to increase capacity.

We know that members have serious concerns that hot-desking will have a negative impact on the way you work including:

  • losing private spaces for counselling and training junior doctors
  • undermining of patient confidentiality with discussions held in open spaces, and
  • lack of quiet space for study and preparation of reports and papers.

And we know there is a growing body of evidence that agile workplaces are not appropriate to high-cognitive work.

That is why it was so disappointing when NSW Health unilaterally rescinded the Policy Directive that dealt with office accommodation PD2005_576.

In response we took the matter to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and the first hearing was on Wednesday this week.

Our main argument was that the rescinded PD and the protections it gave should be reinstated, emphasising the loss of an existing right to an office for designated clinicians and all the associated problems with this.

The Commissioner recommended that the principles in the former Policy Directive be restored as the status quo “to the extent it can be”. A small but important win for us.

The matter is listed for report back on 13 August.

We will keep you updated about our campaign in future Friday News articles and you can also follow the campaign by clicking on the campaign button on the ASMOF web page.

If you have a concern about your work space then please email us at asmof@asmof.org.au