Health services, not cuts!
Queensland’s health services are under attack, but members are fighting back.
How did we get here?
Over the last few years Queensland Health has seen high levels of investment from the government, to fix chronic failures of our health system and to attract and retain high quality doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and support services.
But after the election in 2012 the government issued directives and then rushed legislation through Parliament that made it easier for Queensland Health employees to be sacked and their jobs contracted out. This was a huge breach of the Premier’s pre-election promise to honour all existing industrial agreements.
Services like BreastScreen Queensland have been decentralised, which will lessen the ability of staff to maintain a high-quality service. Population Health and other areas were targeted despite their invaluable contribution to ensuring Queenslanders stay healthy and don’t burden our hospital system. Now the new government’s Health and Hospital Boards are starting to cut into jobs and services in hospitals, aged care facilities and community health services.
Together representatives challenged the government’s legislation that removed job security provisions in the Supreme Court on constitutional grounds but was ultimately unsuccessful. While the decision is disappointing, it was not unexpected and the court case was only one part of our fight against the Newman government’s attacks on public servants.
We need to make sure we do everything we can to pursue every avenue possible and the fight against the Newman government will be won ultimately in the court of public opinion, not in the judicial system. We must take our case to the people of Queensland and ask for their support.
The decision removes any legal uncertainty in the lead up to the Senate inquiry into state public servants’ rights at work, which members won by getting 25,000 signatures to our petition. This enquiry will begin to receive testimony and evidence in the New Year.
However it is clear that legal challenges and parliamentary enquiries alone won’t protect Health services and jobs. Members need to take a stand now for Queensland Health services and Queensland Health jobs.
What are members doing to stand up for public health services?
In December, many of you have held rallies and events against the 490 health job cuts across the Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane Metropolitan North and South districts, and QEII hospital.
These cuts will affect staff in administrative, operational, clinical and allied health roles. All of these positions are important to make sure Queenslanders get the best healthcare and services possible - it's a pity that this isn't a priority for the Newman government.
Together members felt so strongly about the reduction of health services that over 300 members attended rallies and events in one week. Some travelled over 50km to be part of the rally in their own time to send a message.
There is no doubt that these cuts will affect services and the health of Queenslanders. In metro north there will be less social workers, dieticians, speech pathologists and occupational therapists working in the community, helping to keep people out of hospital and we know that hospital allied health services are about to be cut too.
The Royal Children’s Hospitals will have 99 less staff to look after your children and this will affect the future health care of all Queensland children and their families.
All through metropolitan Brisbane, Home and Community Care services will no longer be delivered free of charge by the government resulting in over 140 jobs being axed and destroying the quality of life for the most vulnerable Queenslanders and forcing them into institution care or hospitals.
At the PA and QEII hospitals there will be less surgical places resulting in even longer waiting lists and poorer health outcomes on the southside of Brisbane.
For more information about these cuts and the member response to the adverse impacts on the community see the links to the right.
We know being union can make a difference: employees in the Core voted overwhelmingly to reject the government’s EB offer to them. This resounding result is a sign of workers’ collective power. Together members have stopped this government in its tracks and shown Premier Newman what they think of his radical agenda of destructive cuts.
In the new year we need to keep the fight up to the government and the Hospital Boards to protect public health services. We can't wait until the next state election for change: Sign up at Working for Queenslanders to help continue the fight and win http://www.workingforqueenslanders.org.au/.
Consultation Documents for Royal Children Hospital (Password Protected) (Closes 7 January)
Consultation Documents for MNHHS Commuity and Primary Care (Password Protected)
Consultation Documents for Statewide Recruitment Services (Password Protected)
Member Feedback to MSHHS HACC Outsourcing (Public Document)
Member Feedback to MNHHS Commuity and Primary Care restructure (Public Document)
Member Feedback Statewide Recruitment Services restructure (Public Document)
Member Feedback to Sunshine Coast HHS restructure (Public Document)