BY KERRY VERNON
BRISBANE — On June 12, 800 Queensland Public Sector Union members participated in a march to state parliament to protest deteriorating job conditions and job cuts. QPSU members have also imposed work bans in response to the failure of enterprise bargaining negotiations.
The union had been negotiating on behalf of 50,000 state public servants for a new enterprise bargaining agreement that includes wage rises, more staff and clear career paths. The previous EBA expired on April 30.
In negotiations with the QPSU, Premier Peter Beattie's Labor state government offered a 3.8% increase every 13 months over 39 months or an extra $50 a fortnight, but this was rejected by QPSU members who want an 8% wage rise or an extra $60 a week.
The QPSU has also accused the government of reneging on promises that areas dealing with the public would not suffer job cuts. However, in workplaces such as the Queensland Transport Licence Centre in inner-city Spring Hill, more than 20% of staff positions have not been filled and staff reported to the local Independent newspaper that there is low morale, high absenteeism and rising stress levels.
Workers at the licence centres in Spring Hill and in the central Queensland town of Emerald are closely monitored and increasingly upset over electronic surveillance of their workplaces.
From Green Left Weekly, June 18, 2003.
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