2745 Qld Health jobs go as wages battle heats up

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2745 Qld Health jobs go as wages battle heats up

The Queensland Government has cut another 2745 public sector jobs, this time from Queensland Health, as a further row brews over public servants’ wage rises.

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The Queensland Government has cut another 2745 public sector jobs, this time from Queensland Health, as a further row brews over public servants’ wage rises.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg announced the cuts in a video address to staff this morning, telling them 1217 full-time-equivalent jobs would go from the corporate head office and 1537 from Queensland Health’s 17 regions, now run by hospital and health boards.

Springborg sought to tie the job cuts from the local health boards areas to the former Labor government’s disastrous health payroll changes last year

He said the 1537 forecast job cuts in health boards areas were equivalent to the $150 million unfunded cost of the health payroll system this financial year.

Queensland Health’s number of full-time-equivalent staff will shrink from 66,800 to 66,100 as a result of the cuts outlined today.

Efficiencies
 
A spokesman for Springborg said it would be up to the local health boards as to how they manage the savings required and the number of job cuts could change depending on what efficiencies were found.

Meanwhile, Queensland’s public sector union is demanding a pay rise that is double what the government is offering.

On the final day of negotiations for a new enterprise agreement in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, Together Queensland demanded a 4.5% rise, plus 4% for each of the next two years.

If granted, the government would need to find an extra $1.5 billion to pay for the increase, instead of an extra $780 million for the 2.2% a year being offered.

The Minister Assisting the Premier on Industrial Relations, Glen Elmes, said the ‘unrealistic last-minute demand’ meant public servants would now wait considerably longer for a pay rise.

‘We thought we were on track to deliver a pay rise to core public servants well above the current inflation rate of 1.2%, with an operative date of 1 August,’ Elmes said.

‘As a result of the union’s refusal to negotiate in good faith, arbitration has been initiated by the QIRC.

No job security offer
 
Together Queensland state secretary Alex Scott said the matter was already heading into arbitration when the union increased its demand.

‘The Government is completely misrepresenting what happened,’ he said.

He said the union would have taken seriously a wage freeze proposal if it meant job security was retained, but the offer was never made.

‘You can’t do a deal that will trade off wages for jobs, if jobs aren’t part of the deal,’ Scott said.
 
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