Health workers protest pay

GYMPIE health practitioners are gearing up for a rally today to show the State Government they mean business over a pay deal they say isn’t good enough.

Queensland Public Sector Union organiser Ron Fossen said the rally would cast a spotlight on health practitioner services with gatherings at Bundaberg and Hervey Bay held yesterday.

“In particular, we are highlighting the impact on health practitioner services at Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and Gympie, where growing communities and increasing numbers of older Queenslanders are depending on health practitioners’ services every day,” Mr Fossen said.

He said the Government’s offer of a 2.5 per cent pay rise wasn’t in line with CPI increases. And health practitioners (HPs) were angry pollies gave themselves a 2.5 per cent rise which would mean an extra $70 a week in their pockets compared to a paltry $25 for the HPs.

“Health practitioners are battling with the rising cost of living, renting, electricity bills and rates just like the vast majority of ordinary Queenslanders.

It’s a bit of a kick in the guts for a rural health practitioner who is paying rent and raising kids on about $65,000 to see the politicians pocketing two pay rises in a year and yet HPs are expected to say no to double pay in other jurisdictions and stick around to provide essential health services.

“After more than three months of industrial action, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Gympie HPs are asking the government to wake up and understand that wage cuts are cuts to health practitioner services.”

Mr Fossen said essential emergency health services would continue during rallies; however some patients’ appointments may be cancelled and rescheduled.

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