Health Workers and Members of the Health Services Union of WA (HSUWA) and United Workers Union (UWU) will take a second, Stop Work Action at Royal Perth Hospital at 12:30pm today, with Meetings at Geraldton Regional Hospital and Bunbury Health Campus to take place on Thursday 21 July. Press conference will be held at 12:00pm, details below.
The Stop Work Meetings will be attended by essential Health Workers, including Administration and Clerical Staff, Hospital Cleaners, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Enrolled Nurses and other Allied Health Professionals who continue to work tirelessly throughout the pandemic. The Unions maintain that all Health Workers deserve a fair pay rise to support this valuable and irreplaceable workforce.
With a new COVID surge emerging, and dire early predictions from leading economists regarding inflation, Health Workers are now standing up to fight for a better deal. In the March quarter, WA had the lowest wage growth and the highest inflation rate compared to the other States, rendering the State Wages Policy (of an annual pay increase of 2.75 or 2.5% + $1000) vastly inadequate.
HSUWA Secretary Naomi McCrae said, “West Australians deserve the best health care, and to receive that, we need to be offering the good wages and conditions to retain our public health workforce.”
McCrae continued, “A State Wages Policy, which does not keep up with the cost of living will mean public Health Worker wages keep going backwards, disadvantaging, rather than rewarding, the professional people who continue to work in tough conditions every day during the pandemic to support the community.
McCrae said, “The McGowan Government’s State Wages Policy fixes wages arbitrarily and hasn’t been able to respond to the circumstances. We note the Queensland Government has just acted to protect their public sector workforce by offering 4% each year with a cost-of-living top up of a further 3% each year, if needed, to respond to inflation.
McCrae added, “We have seen NSW, QLD and VIC come to the table and adjust their policies to retain and protect their health workforces. WA, a resource rich and wealthy State, with the largest budget surplus in the country, must urgently deliver for public Health Workers. It must deliver a meaningful response on pay that helps retain this valuable workforce for the next three years at least, not the next 5 minutes.”
UWU Public Sector Coordinator Kevin Sneddon said “It’s unacceptable that very workers who were asked to show up and continue to show up through the worst of COVID and the related health crisis have been offered what amounts to a pay cut.”
“We read about the short staffing within the health system every day. Well I have a pretty solid and immediate fix for that issue – by paying workers a wage will not see them go backwards.”
“In this wealthy State we are seeing hospital workers living in their cars and showering at work before shift. It’s just not on. I implore Mark McGowan to see sense before things get even worse.”
The Stop Work Meeting at will take place from 12:30pm sharp at Royal Perth Hospital, on the grassed area near R Block on Wellington Street Perth.
PRESS CONFERENCE: 12pm, Royal Perth Hospital, near R Block on Wellington Street, Perth. Interviews available with HSUWA Secretary Naomi McCrae, UWU Public Sector Coordinator WA Kevin Sneddon and 2 Union Members.
About the HSUWA
Health Services Union of WA is a specialised union of health workers in Western Australia. HSUWA Members are Allied Health, Medical Scientists, Health Technicians and Administrators. This includes for example: Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Medical Imagining Technologists, Anaesthetic Technicians, Laboratory Technicians, Researchers and Librarians, Security Officers, Payroll, Ward Clerks and more. For an extensive list of who belongs to our union, visit our website hsuwa.com.au
Our public sector industrial agreement covers more than 18,000 people in WA public health. The current agreement expired on 30 June 2022.
HSUWA is a growing union, organising and campaigning for better pay and conditions and careers for our members.
United Workers Union represents WA essential workers across public health and education sectors, including enrolled nurses, cleaners, caterers and patient service attendants in health, plus education assistants, canteen workers, maintenance workers and and other workers in publicly-run schools.
UWU represents over 150,000 workers from all walks of life across Australia. Throughout our history, we’ve shown when working people come together, we win.
About the Public Sector Alliance
The HSUWA and UWU form part of the Public Sector Alliance of thousands of Western Australian public sector Union Members. We are calling on the State Government to stop supressing the wages of the low- and middle-income earners who make up our essential and valuable public sector workforce and commit to genuine bargaining.
The Alliance also includes the WA Police Union, CPSU/CSA, RTBUWA and others, as well as Unions WA. Read more.