About 500 South-East Queensland health workers walked off the job and rallied in front of State Parliament on October 7, protesting against the Bligh government's offer of annual pay increases of only 2.5% a year for three years.
The unions are demanding increases totalling 12.5% over the three-year period. Queensland Public Sector Union general secretary Alex Scott said Queensland Health could return to "the bad old days" if workers were forced to leave the system over pay.
"If the government is successful in forcing these cuts to wages and conditions, we will see a massive exodus of health professionals from the health system, which will be a disaster for Queensland patients and Queensland hospitals", he said.
“The only was to fix the health system is to have enough health professionals on the job … Health comes first; patients come first; staff come first."
The workers chanted: "Union proud, union strong; Queensland Health, you've got it wrong!"