The government should talk to workers first about Queensland Health

Posted December 23, 2011 by Alex Scott

The state government should talk to its workers before making rash decisions, like the wholesale restructure of Queensland Health.

That's why yesterday our representatives were in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, asking that the government develop its plans with the input of union members.

As you work hard every day delivering a world-class healthcare system, it's important that the government takes your views into account, rather than rushing into a restructure plan over the Christmas break.

This is an essential principle, and an obligation for the government.  Workers need to have a say on their future.

The split-up of Queensland Health is proposed for a decision of Cabinet in January. Before that date, we have a formal commitment from Queensland Health that they will present us with a business case with sufficient time for a proper look at the process.

It goes without saying that union members expect Queensland Health to protect all jobs and all employee entitlements.

In particular, we are asking that Queensland Health employees will still get their existing fringe benefits tax (FBT) entitlements carried over.

There is the potential for drastic financial loss for some employees if their FBT exempt status is affected by the proposed government changes. This matter is at the forefront of your union's representatives discussions with government.

Another point is if the government does proceed in abolishing Queensland Health and creating two new agencies, if they do not amend the Health and Hospital Network Act 2011, then on 1 July 2012, they will have to re-amalgamate the two agencies.

We will be in contact in the new year on this important matter.  All workers deserve to have a say before the government makes changes to Queensland Health.

Your hard work in delivering a high-quality healthcare system needs to be recognised by this government.


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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