FRUSTRATED: Union workplace delegates Rahiaia Farnham, Colbi Van Der Es, Merrilyn Williams and David Ryan met with Member for Gympie David Gibson yesterday.
FRUSTRATED: Union workplace delegates Rahiaia Farnham, Colbi Van Der Es, Merrilyn Williams and David Ryan met with Member for Gympie David Gibson yesterday. Craig Warhurst

Health workers losing hope over pay

QUEENSLAND Health (QH) is taking advantage of Gympie Hospital and community health practitioners, Queensland Public Sector Union regional organiser Ron Fossen has said.

The health practitioners refused to accept a pay deal of two-and-a-half per cent a year for the next three years recently.

That deal would have seen them lose rural and other allowances and one week of holidays for radiographers. But since then the government has come back to the table, reinstating the rural allowance and the week of holidays.

But union workplace delegates who met with Member for Gympie David Gibson yesterday said the deal still wasn’t good enough and some administrative-type work bans would continue.

Union delegate Merrilyn Williams said the pay offer wouldn’t keep up with inflation and after three years, at the current rate, the staff would be two per cent worse off.

“Our dedicated staff’s first priority is to provide services,” she said of the bans which would not affect patients or service delivery.

Ms Williams said a lot of people were frustrated and staff had been lost from Gympie because they had lost hope over the pay struggle.

Recently a dietician was lost and allied health in the region had quite a turn over, she said.

Mr Gibson said it was disturbing to hear the government proposed such a “short-sighted and cheap option”.

He said the offer was a “pittance of a pay rise” and could mean more people would end up in hospital – where their problems would cost the most – without the preventative care from the health professionals.

The impacts were far greater to Gympie if we couldn’t retain our professionals, he said.

“It’s not like Nambour where you can get on a bus...we won’t have the services in Gympie.”

Mr Fossen said there had been no negotiations and other QH staff had this month received a four per cent pay rise – a part of a recent deal which would see QH staff with a 12.5 per cent over three years.

To sign a petition in support of a better deal go to www.hpstrongertogether.com

Our dedicated staff’s first priority is to provide services”

Gympie Times


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