Queensland Health: Safety and Wages
It's been another big week for Health workers with the resumption of many services and of course the frightening situation in Central Queensland.
It's essential that your safety, the safety of patients and the community are ALWAYS the top priority.
If any worker is unwell then they shouldn't be at work – and there should be support processes to ensure paid leave and/or working arrangements to work remotely to support this. There are paid leave arrangements available for casual staff as well under the Pandemic Directive.
We will be continuing to work with the Department and every HHS to remind managers about these obligations.
We know that many workers are also being asked to return to a more 'as usual' approach with the resumption of services – however, its important to note that this isn't usual. There has been a significant WHS hazard identified in COVID-19. This means that isolation measures, additional PPE and substitution processes should be in place. Social distancing will also be enforced wherever possible.
Together workplace health and safety representatives will be working with you on this. Remember to raise your concerns immediately and then contact your organiser or the union office if you need support with a WHS issue.
On Friday 1 May we received a reassurance from Minister Grace and then Deputy Premier and Treasurer Trad that back-pay and arrangements overdue from 2019 would be implemented. Since then it is clear that the Department of Health have not been given specific instructions to process this commitment.
Today, following direct requests for action on the basis of this letter to senior staff in the Department and conversations with the Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, I have written to the new Treasurer, Cameron Dick, to seek urgent approvals for your back pay and agreements to be administratively applied, as per the commitment.
When we hear back I will let you know.
Thank you for everything you are doing to ensure a healthy and safe Queensland for all of us.