THE OurHSU team has called on state health minister Jillian Skinner to guarantee thousands of New England public hospital workers, health professionals and paramedics will not suffer savage cuts to their rights and entitlements, under changes being introduced by the state government.
The O’Farrell government applied to the Industrial Relations Commission last week to cut annual leave loading, slash penalty rates for shift workers and remove sick leave entitlements for 80,000 public sector workers.
It then confirmed some nurses, police and firefighters are exempt, but no mention was made of other health workers.
Gerard Hayes – a former paramedic who is running on a reform platform to lead the Health Services Union – said clarification was needed urgently.
“Thousands of health workers across the New England are wondering whether they will still get their leave loading and penalty rates,” Mr Hayes said.
“Either the health minister or local Coalition MPs need to clarify whether hard working hospital
workers, health professionals and paramedics are also about to see their rights slashed.”
Mr Hayes said the government also needed to explain why they were creating two classes of health workers.
“It’s bad enough that this government has introduced a 2.5 per cent pay cap, savage cuts to workers compensation and dangerous ambulance rostering practices,” he said.
“New England health professionals, paramedics and hospital workers deserve better than this. We do difficult work, in busy hospitals. The last thing we need is further cuts to our entitlements.”