Ipswich Hospital staff on strike on Tuesday. Grant Stephensen. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Ipswich Hospital staff on strike on Tuesday. Grant Stephensen. Picture: Cordell Richardson

‘It isn’t right’: Union members fight pay freeze

WHILE many workers waited to hear how the State Government would implement a pay freeze yesterday, some Ipswich Hospital staff and Australian Workers' Union members took part in a strike over the dispute.

Queensland Branch Secretary of The AWU Steve Baker said members felt the need to fight.

"Industrial action is never something we take lightly and we'd never do anything to compromise the COVID-19 response, but AWU members have felt like they need to take a stand," he said.

"These are the wardies, cleaners, security officers, kitchen staff and other invaluable frontline workers who have been getting us through this - hitting them with a wage freeze just isn't right.

"These members are taking this action so that they can be heard, and with the cooperation of the government we're hopeful of being able to achieve a resolution on this issue very soon."

 

Ipswich Hospital staff on strike on Tuesday. David Griffin, Leslie Johns, Grant Baker and Martin Darcy. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Ipswich Hospital staff on strike on Tuesday. David Griffin, Leslie Johns, Grant Baker and Martin Darcy. Picture: Cordell Richardson

 

It's been reported the Australian Workers' Union members secured a deal that would delay their 2020 pay increase until early 2022 - allowing them to take home a 5 per cent pay rise that year.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the pay freeze was about making sure the government had the money in the financial year when they "need it the most, which is now".

"It's to have it available in the financial year where we need it to help recover for Queensland jobs," she said when asked if the measure was about long-term cost saving.

Ms Palaszczuk said she understood this pay freeze would save the state budget about $500 million over the financial year.



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