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WHO: United Workers Union health workers walk off the job at Glenside Health Services, Adelaide.

WHAT: More than 20 essential health workers and their fellow union members will protest outside the hospital in their fight against privatisation and job cuts.

WHEN: 9.00am for 09:15am at the main entrance on Karrayarta Drive, Glenside, SA 5065

VISUALS: Essential health workers in hospital uniforms will rally outside the hospital. Workers and union representatives will be available for interview.

Essential health workers will stop work for one hour at Glenside Health Services in response to the Marshall Governments inaction in health.

Workers have been negotiating for a new enterprise agreement since early 2020. The Government has so-far refused to rule out further privatisation or job cuts which would only exacerbate the current short-staffing crisis.

Today’s action is a further escalation of work bans that are in place across more than 45 South Australian hospitals and aged care facilities.

United Workers Union coordinator Paul Blackmore said workers were frustrated that they were already understaffed and there was no relief in sight.

“UWU members have spent months meaningfully negotiating and in mediation, offering solutions to prevent a further degradation of the health system,” Mr Blackmore said.

“Instead of heeding the concerns of the essential workers on the front line, the Marshall Liberal Government seems hell-bent on its agenda of cuts and privatisation.

In April the Treasurer Rob Lucas said in a radio interview that the Government was open to outsourcing in the future

“We can’t trust that Marshall won’t try and privatise parts of health and disability services because he has already attempted to privatise SA Pathology, Disability SA, and parts of Flinders Medical Centre,” he said.

“This shouldn’t only be a concern for our workers, whose job and financial security will be compromised, but also for the general community as privatisation inevitably leads to diminished services and higher costs.”

Two weeks’ ago, essential health workers implemented work bans in more than 45 hospitals and aged care facilities in their fight for secure jobs for essential workers. They include hospital cleaners, patient service assistants, disability support workers, catering workers, sterilisation technicians, aged carers and community care workers.

“These work bans have been imposed because workers are sick and tired of corners being cut, understaffing and gaps in safety protocols that threaten the safety of patients, residents and workers,” he said.

“United Workers Union members are sick of papering over the cracks of the health system and will simply refuse to carry out unsafe tasks they have been asked to perform.

“Workers have been on the front line during the Covid-19 crisis, and yet they continue to be put into unnecessarily risky situations.”

The work bans were designed using reports from workers of having to do extra work outside of their expected role. Read more about the bans here.

Action will continue until a reasonable offer has been made by the Government.


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