Ballot as health professionals flag intentions to strike

THE United Voice union will engage an independent third party to ballot members over proposed industrial strike action next month.

The Industrial Relations Commission on Friday denied the union's application seeking workers be allowed to strike over the breakdown of pay negotiations with the State Government.

Health professionals at Toowoomba, Stanthorpe, Charleville, Roma, Moranbah and Dalby hospitals have flagged their intention to take part in the strike.

United Voice health co-ordinator Damien Davie said health professionals including radiographers, sonographers, dental technicians and other health professionals were shocked by the commission's decision.

"The reality of the situation is that this government, backed by the Industrial Relations Commission, have not only taken away workers rights to strike but to be even balloted on industrial action," Mr Davie said.

"Our members are furious that once again their voice has been taken away from them and so have endorsed a proposal to engage an independent entity to ballot them on industrial action and other measures in their ongoing battle with Queensland Health.

Mr Davie said health professionals across the state had been stretched to the limit since the widespread public sector cuts last year.

"Health professionals are already stretched to the limit with 10 per cent of the workforce cut," he said.

"They are struggling to cover the workload and they can not take anymore.

"Queensland Health has offered them the lowest enterprise bargaining offer given to any workforce at just 1.5% and this is in exchange for unrealistic cuts to conditions and allowances.

"They stand to lose up to 23% of their wages, but it is not just about the money.

"As health professionals they are deeply distressed about the implication these cuts will have on patient care and safety.

"After bargaining in good faith, Queensland Health refuses to accept their valid concerns about patient safety.

"So instead of going through the normal channels of industrial action, the government is introducing new legislation to prevent this from happening," he said.



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