Queensland Health: You've waited long enough. It's time for frontline health workers to take action.
Yesterday, your Together delegates met to discuss your back-pay and what to do next to secure what you are owed. We don't need to tell you that you are waiting on your 2019 pay rise, improvements to your conditions and the $1250 bonus. Health members were assured by the government – assured by the Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace - in this letter that this would be paid before the end of this financial year.
It’s been a month since that letter. And it’s a month to go until that deadline.
Your delegates, based on the feedback from members across the state, have decided that frontline health workers have waited long enough. It’s time to take action.
Health workers have spent the past 2 months ensuring that every Queenslander could rest easy knowing that the public health system was ready for this pandemic – and through testing, treating and managing effectively we have made it to a place of very low infections. The public can breathe a sigh of relief. The government can ease restrictions.
This is great for our communities, but the disruptions and extra pressure will continue well into the future for healthcare workers. Our services will need to be on standby for months to come to be ready to surge back up at the shortest notice to meet any outbreaks in the pandemic. The reality is that beating COVID-19 will be a marathon, and is not a sprint.
In addition to the preparedness, Together members are still going to work every day to do the usual, absolutely vital, work of providing healthcare to every Queenslander who needs it.
All the while being paid the same rate you were being paid in 2018.
It’s not good enough. Nurses and doctors received pay rises and the $1250 in 2019, and nurses have received their 2020 payrise.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, allied health assistants, administration officers, medical records staff, finance staff, scientists, lab assistants and phlebotomists have been sitting on the same pay since 2018.
Your executive delegates passed this motion at their meeting yesterday – to take stop work actions from next Thursday, 4th of June:
That Together members across Queensland Health, who have bargained in good faith, struck a deal, had it negotiated and drafted, and are owed money from 2019, demand that the Queensland Government pay us what we are owed and implement 2019 deals as promised.
Together members are authorised to undertake industrial action, in the form of stop work meetings and stop work actions from Thursday 4th of June, with a co-ordinated state-wide effort recommended by delegates.
We are recommending that a stop work occur next Friday 5th of June for at least one hour.
Given that current restrictions prohibit public gatherings, the action would need to be designed at each site to ensure that workers can join together via Zoom or Microsoft Teams (we will coordinate a state-wide event on Friday, 5th of June), or hold a public rally with less than 10 representatives, maintaining social distancing. These representatives could represent groups of workers at a particular time for the purposes of a group photo.
Link in with your delegates, speak to your work group and send us an email by COB this Monday, 1st of June, with what your team will be doing to show the Queensland Government – health workers matter.