Health pay offer brings on bans

HEALTH practitioners began work stoppages in Maryborough and Hervey Bay yesterday after rejecting a State Government pay offer last week.

Queensland Public Sector Union regional organiser Ron Fossen said health practitioners across Queensland began protective action including bans on inputting health statistics in response to a Government deal that included annual pay increases of 2.5 per cent over three years.

He said the increase was inadequate under current inflation levels and the deal stripped health practitioners of important benefits.

“The Government's saying we'll give you 2.5 per cent but in exchange for that we will not pay your rural allowance, we will not pay your student supervision allowance, we will take holidays off radiographers,” he said.

He said other Government departments had received pay deals of around four per cent per annum, and health practitioners wanted something similar.

“All we want is for the State Government and Queensland Health to come back to the negotiating table with a fair and reasonable offer,” he said.

He said members would consider further action, and warned unless the Government could come up with a reasonable deal, health practitioners may decide to leave Queensland.

“We won't be able to keep them in the state. If other states or if people overseas are offering these valuable health workers better conditions and money then they'll have to go,” he said.

But Queensland Health deputy director-general Michael Walsh said Queensland health practitioners were among the highest paid in Australia.

He said health practitioners had received an 18.5 per cent pay increase over the past three years and further increases due to reclassification.

“The Government's offer is fair and we look forward to settling this matter with the unions very soon,” he said.

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