LISTEN: Gladstone hospital to meet union over 'strike' fears
UNION officials representing Gladstone Hospital's doctors and administration staff will meet with management of the hospital this morning, as a dispute over the future of workers on temporary contracts between the pair deepens.
Union officials had already planned to meet with members at Gladstone hospital today who are growing increasingly anxious about the future of their jobs.
The union claims there was an understanding between the hospital and workers who signed temporary contracts that their contracts would be made permanent after a certain period.
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It's understood the hospital is reviewing contracts for a range of jobs, which include operational' and support staff.
Together's CQ based organiser Ashleigh Saunders said in a request for the last minute meeting, hospital management had cited concern for "patient safety" if members were "to walk out of these issues".
"They're panicking that we're going to strike over this issue," Ms Saunders said.
"They're concerned about patient safety if our members were to take industrial action," she said. "We find that ironic considering they are stripping CQ hospitals."
CQ health boss Len Richards responded to union concerns in a letter last week where he said temporary "contracts will be renewed where required and essential".
But Ms Saunders claims Mr Richards had already given the orders for more than 30 temporary positions to be cancelled across Central Queensland. But she said the union was yet to get exact figures for Gladstone.
Mr Richards said, in the letter, he had "requested a review of contracts ceased with an appropriate reconciliation as to [the] reason" of why there contracts weren't renewed.