According to their union, front-line health workers in Queensland have been denied a promised pay rise because they have agreed to prioritise coronavirus preparations before an industrial agreement is reached. « The Agency has not prioritized the purchase of new test machines, the supply chain, personal protective equipment, etc. We are very keen to make sure there are enough PPE. Alex Scott, the secretary of the Together union, which represents much of the state`s public service, said public health experts had trusted the government not to « miss » the better pay deal, which was agreed in principle last year. Primary employment conditions for the majority of Queensland Health employees are imposed by bonuses and agreements. While the awards are presented by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC), agreements are negotiated by Queensland Health and Queensland Health staff representatives. After the agreement of the staff members covered by the proposed agreement (as part of a voting procedure), the agreements are certified by the QIRC. Queensland Health has seven important agreements that prescribe wages and other conditions of employment for workers (excluding executives and executives). Certified agreements provide for negotiated terms of employment between an employer and the public sector unions concerned on behalf of workers.
Exclusive: In principle, the agreement was suspended after Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that public sector salaries would be « frozen, » said Scott, aware of the wider economic pressure on the state budget, but still awaiting discussion and criticized the process of « negotiations by press release ». He would not rule out some form of union action as a « last resort, » but said workers would not take action that would compromise the public health response to the coronavirus pandemic. The deal would have given Queensland hospital staff, with the exception of doctors and nurses who have a separate agreement – their first pay increase in two years.