Essential workers around the Northern Territory are taking action in an effort to secure better wages and conditions.
United Workers Union (UWU) members from Danila Dilba Health Services, NT Fire and Rescue Service, and St John NT are taking various forms of industrial action, including strike action.
Darwin’s Danila Dilba workers kicked off their protected industrial action today following three years without a pay increase. Significantly, this action will be the first Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service in Australia to engage in protected action.
Meanwhile paramedics, patient transport officers and communications officers from St John are continuing protected action, which includes a claim for backpay of salaries from 2019. Negotiations are at a stalemate with the government contractor and the Territory government is failing to intervene.
Firefighters began protected action last week in response to the Gunner Government Wage Policy, which freezes pay for public sector workers for the next four years.
UWU NT Secretary Erina Early said it was unacceptable that the workers that have kept the Territory safe through the pandemic are being offered either zero dollar wage increases, or increases which amount to a pay cut.
“Workers are uniting across public, health and emergency services to send a message to the government and their employers that they will not abide wage freezes and drastic cuts to their conditions of work,” Ms Early said.
“The cost of living is skyrocketing, fuel prices are becoming prohibitive, and the bosses’ response is to offer a pay cut?”
“These are frontline workers, the workers we rely on every day for our safety and our health, and they are being rewarded for their dedication with either zero dollar wage offers or offers that falls short of inflation and other expenses increases. It’s frankly insulting and does nothing to alleviate the short staffing issues we are seeing across these organisations.”
Corrections officers across various facilities will be voting on whether to take strike action from tomorrow, with more workers from various sectors planning to take action in the coming months.
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