Queensland hospital workers strike

Issue 

Queensland hospital workers strike

BY BILL MASON

BRISBANE — Nurses, doctors and support staff in south-east Queensland staged a snap 24-hour strike on July 6 in an unprecedented display of anger against poor wages and working conditions in public hospitals.

The action came as members of 12 unions stopped work for several hours as part of a statewide campaign of protest against the Labor state government's failure to make a reasonable offer in enterprise bargaining negotiations.

It is the first time in Queensland history that nurses at public acute-general hospitals have taken such action.

Union demands include a 6.5% pay rise over two years. The government has offered 3% each year over three years. Unions also want more staff, greater job security, and an allowance to help compensate for the GST.

Queensland Council of Unions organiser John Spreckley said on July 7 that negotiations were progressing from the stalemate earlier in the week, which resulted in enterprise bargaining talks being abandoned.

However, Queensland Health has been warned that more industrial action will follow unless current negotiations prove fruitful.

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