Staff walk out over pay dispute
GLADSTONE Hospital’s operational staff walked out yesterday after 10 weeks of pay disputes with Queensland Health.
Operational staff who spoke to The Observer anonymously said many of them had received no allowances or overtime for the last 12 weeks and staff who were underpaid or not paid were given loans which were deducted from their next pay.
“We are only getting paid 7.1 hours per day when it should be 7.6 hours,” a staff member said.
The operational workers including ward, catering, cleaning, maintenance and gardening staff took a vote at the AWU meeting to walk out. The main issue was it had now been 10 weeks and not one of the problems had been fixed.
“If we could see that there was some improvement we would be satisfied, but there has been nothing. We have all been very patient but it seems like this situation is never going to resolve,” one man said.
Another issue raised at the meeting was that staff complaints were not being raised with higher authorities such as Minister for Health Paul Lucas.
“We believe Mr Lucas is only hearing a sanitised version from hospital management and not the real issues,” one worker said.
The new payslips are also too complicated for staff to interpret and they are unsure exactly what they are getting paid.
Acting facility manager Rod Brennan told staff he couldn’t promise them anything.
“We are dealing with the system issues as best we can. The problems are right across the board and not limited to Gladstone Hospital,” he said.
He said the issue would not be resolved this pay week and offered any staff member suffering hardship to come and talk to him.
Mr Lucas had not responded at the time of publication, however The Observer is expecting comments from the Health Minister tomorrow.