Health workers plea for minister to take charge of stalled wage talks

Frontline Queensland health staff, including doctors, health practitioners and administrative staff, have accused the state government of stalling wage talks.

Nov 08, 2022, updated Nov 08, 2022
The Queensland health system has been under pressure. (Supplied)

The Queensland health system has been under pressure. (Supplied)

Employment agreements for crucial staff including doctors, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers, allied health practitioners, scientists and administrative personnel, expired in June, the Together Union said on Tuesday.

Five months after the deadline for employment contracts expired, Queensland Health is yet to start formal negotiations.

“Queensland Health has shown appalling disrespect towards its workforce, including every professional group, by leaving them on expired collective agreements that have no provision for continuing pay increases,” Together Branch Secretary Alex Scott said.

Six Queensland Health agreements expired in 2022 and Scott said there had been no indication from management if workers can expect a wage increase.

The union has condemned the employer’s failure to negotiate in good faith.

“The doctors’ agreement expired at the end of June this year. Five months later, formal negotiations are still impossible, given the failures of Queensland Health,” said Union Senior Vice-President Dr Sandy Donald.

“Doctors are looking for action from Queensland Health on fatigue management rules and staffing levels. These are things that must be addressed urgently for a sustainable health system,” Donald said.

The union has called for Health Minister Yvette D’Ath to intervene in negotiations.

“We need Minister D’Ath to act urgently to ensure that Queensland Health staff can feel valued and respected by their employer,” Mr Scott said.

The minister has been contacted for comment.

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