EB8 Update: QH - No memory, No suggestions, No idea who is in charge

Posted September 21, 2011 by Alex Scott

Negotiators met today with QHealth representatives, despite a last minute suggestion by QH that there was no need to meet because they didn't have anything to talk about.  As members would expect, we insisted the meeting go ahead, because we have plenty to talk about!

We have the power to make things happen as a union - and we will. Read on for a negotiations update and what we should do next to move this process forward!

Cutting Conditions and Jobs

QH management continued to insist that unions consider their cost-savings initiatives - you'll remember them as the ones you rejected comprehensively at your workplace meetings.  They were about cutting the conditions of new starters, not filling vacancies as they arise, and a raft of other hopeful suggestions aimed at lowering employment standards across the board.  We repeatedly reminded them that we have rejected their proposals, but in their place we have come up with at least 17 great suggestions from members and Delegates that would save QH lots of money!  Our initiatives revolve around a central theme - better management of what Districts do, so that costs can be contained and waste reduced.  Many of our suggestions would result in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of savings in themselves.

Insisting on Rejected Proposals

Unfortunately, at today's meeting we were informed that the cost saving initiatives which our members have proposed aren't really relevant, because the only initiatives QH is interested in are those which alter your employment arrangements!  We checked a few times because we couldn't believe our ears, but yes, according to the Lead negotiator for QH, the process "is not a suggestion box activity, it must be about changes to industrial arrangements". This is not fair to you, the hardworking health workers who make a difference to Queenslanders' lives every day.

Who's in charge here?

Union negotiators asked QH to go away and think about this some more.  We also asked  the representative from Justice and Attorney General who was attending the meeting whether this was in line with the state government's wages policy which they are attempting to force union members to accept - 2.5% - is not good enough!  Unfortunately we didn't get a clear answer on this one.  Nor did we get a clear answer as to who is in charge of these negotiations - QH or JAG?

Now we need to send a strong message to Queensland Health that no movement is not good enough! You deserve a wage rise that keeps pace and fair conditions.

As union members you can make a significant difference in the campaign by taking action! Hundreds of members already are - you can see their bans on the campaign website - www.healtheb8.org.au - and get your own action pack there too!

Email us at eb8@together.org.au if you cannot access the action pack via the website.


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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