Anger as Friday’s hospital strike is called off
AN hour-long strike planned for hospitals across the state on Friday will not go ahead this week after union members called for clarification on legislation around a promised pay rise.
The 2.5 per cent pay rise, promised in September and put on hold in March, was discussed at a Together Union meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
The meeting decided to call off the strike but left open the possibility of future action The meeting was told the government had backflipped and would remove the pay rise freeze but only honour part of the three-year pay increase starting next year.
Affected members were told the state government had so far refused to put the details in writing.
Together Union secretary Alex Scott said members needed clarity about promises made in a letter from Queensland Health director-general Dr John Wakefield on Tuesday.
The letter said the government had instructed payroll services to start processing the promised 2.5 per cent wages increase.
In the letter, Dr Wakefield also said the Industrial Relations Act 2016 would have to be amended to allow the payments, which are scheduled to be debated in Parliament this month.
"Preparations occurring now will ensure the expedited processing of these payments should the amendments to the Act be approved," Dr Wakefield said in the letter.
During the meeting, Mr Scott said despite overtures from the government, terms of the pay rise were still unclear.
After the meeting, a union member, who asked to remain anonymous, said the government was dividing frontline workers.
He said it was unfair half of the health workers had already received their back pay as well as a one-off $1250 payment promised to all under the original enterprise bargaining pay rise deal.
"We feel left out and betrayed by the government even though we will get our back payment in the next two weeks," he said.
"But the one-off payment might not be paid until 2021, if at all, and our future pay rises are still in doubt pending the legislation later this month."
Originally published as Anger as Friday's hospital strike is called off