Qld Health to close roster centres

UPDATE 6PM: Up to 40 people will loose their jobs from regional centres when Queensland Health closes its roster centres.

Together union has claimed changes to the department's burdened payroll system will result in the closure of roster centres at Cooloola, Nambour and Toowoomba.

Union assistant secretary Julie Bignell said that statewide 100 permanent payroll staff were in line to be axed by December 30 and another 52 workers would lose their jobs by June next year.

Ms Bignell estimated between 30 and 40 would go from the regional roster centres.

"There are a number of other positions in Townsville that are yet to be determined," she said.

Ms Bignell said the 16,000 calls per fortnight the regional roster centres received would go unanswered.

"Line managers will now be expected to make changes to the way they conform to rostering practices," she said. "These changes have not been communicated yet to line mangers and they are yet to be trained in those changes."

The overhaul to the payroll system also includes a change of pay day.

"At this stage there is no evidence to show how much work will be saved by a new pay day arrangement - we believe it will save some money but payroll staff will still have to process the same number of forms with less people," Ms Bignell said. "New roster variation forms for line managers are hard to read and training has not been provided for the line managers.

"The sad fact is that line managers are unaware of the impact of the imminent closure of roster centres, which means they will no longer have support."

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg announced recently that 2754 jobs would be culled from Queensland Health, including more than half from local hospital and health areas.

A spokeswoman for Mr Springborg denied any permanent employment would be lost through the closure of call centres by December 2.

She said the union's claimed call volumes bore no resemblance to Toowoomba, Wide Bay and Nambour call centre workloads.

"When first established call centres/roster centres provided a wide range of services - from finding staff to replacing employees on sick leave, to plotting rosters," the spokeswoman said. "Today, roster plotting is done by payroll teams outside of these call centres.

"The main functions of call centres have changed to focus predominantly on logging sick leave calls and of shift change notifications.

"This is a non-standard service and not all payroll hubs operate a call centre. The operation of a call centre is now a decision for individual Hospital Health Services.



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