2nd December 2010: A state-wide strike by allied health professionals yesterday may result in extended waiting times for elective surgery and other health procedures according to the Qld Public Sector Union and the LHMU.
Many of the union's members walked off the job yesterday to protest the State Government's offer of a 7.5% pay rise
over the next three years. They say this is not only below inflation, but also only half the 5% per annum
pay rise that Queensland's politicians awarded themselves.
The unions claim that 70% of appointments, admissions and procedures were affected by yesterday's strike. But Queensland Health director general Mick Reid
has disputed this, saying there'd been a minimal impact on hospital admissions and elective surgeries and that the claims of 8000 workers walking off the job were wrong.
Pickets were held outside Hervey Bay Hospital
and Health Minister Paul Lucas'
electorate office in Brisbane. The exact number of South Burnett allied health professionals who took part in the action is unknown.
The unions will resume discussions with Qld Health in a few days but are unwilling to rule out further strike action after Christmas. They also say that the State Government's pay rise offer is being impacted by its bungling of the new health payroll system
earlier this year.
"The Government's 2.5% a year offer is worth $163 million," QPSU General Secretary Alex Scott
said, "but the payroll debacle will cost closer to $300 million. This dispute with the Government is an attempt by them to claw back money that they lost through their own incompetence."
Mr Scott also disputed a claim by Queensland Health that 50% of the State's allied professionals already earn more than $100,000 a year, saying the figure was closer to 5%.