Health staff strike: ‘Miles from a fair go’
ABOUT 300 Queensland Health maintenance staff will walk off the job today amid concerns about job security, sham contracting and a "failure" to invest in apprentices and trainees.
The combined industrial action between the CFMEU and the ETU will seen carpenters, painters, electricians, plumbers and boilermakers from across the state strike for 24 hours.
About 150 workers have rallied outside the Queensland Health offices on Charlotte St in Brisbane's CBD this morning.
Rallies are also planned for Rockhampton, Cairns and Townsville.
CFMEU assistant secretary Jade Ingham said the workers were essential to the smooth and safe running of a hospital.
"This action is not taken lightly, and is in response to Queensland Health's refusal to negotiate meaningfully on key areas of concern including job security, sham contracting and the failure to invest in apprentices and trainees," he said.
Emergency maintenance work will be performed as usual.
Mr Ingham said the union told Health Minister Steven Miles about the "rampant use of sham contracting arrangements" at Redcliffe Hospital earlier this year.
"Our members are watching as jobs are contracted out, apprentice numbers evaporate and dodgy labour hire becomes the norm, and they've had a gutful," he said.
ETU Qld NT State Secretary Peter Ong said their members had not taken this lightly.
"Queensland Health may care about the doctors, nurses, and radiologists, we all do, but it's latest offer to our members who keep our hospitals and health services safe and operating efficiently in often stressful circumstances is a kick in the guts and miles away from a fair go," he said.