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Petition launch to end Treasurer’s hidden agenda for health workers

Today South Australian health care workers launched a petition to Treasurer Rob Lucas.

The Treasurer refuses to roll over an agreement to uphold the current working conditions for thousands of essential health care workers.

In light of the current COVID crisis, workers volunteered to roll over their workplace agreement, keeping the status quo, so they can focus on delivering services and keeping the community safe.

“Lucas and the Liberal Government’s refusal to roll over the current agreement, in favour of attacking workers during a pandemic, have revealed their true agenda” said Paul Blackmore, United Workers Union Public Sector Coordinator.

“The changes proposed by the government would create a pathway to cut jobs and privatise and outsource services wherever they can.

“Once this happens, they will have no direct control of essential community services and workers will be worse off.”

The Treasurer faced a barrage of questions from Labor, SA Best and the Greens during Question Time last week who have all expressed their support for a rollover of the current agreement.

When asked about the removal of important security of employment provisions and the removal of redundancy, redeployment and retraining provisions in Question Time last Wednesday the Treasurer responded: “we don’t view those particular clauses in the same way [the honourable member does].”

“This goes to show the Treasurer’s attitude towards protecting the jobs of essential workers, including those who have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Mr Blackmore.


On May 6, Lucas told InDaily he would “negotiate in good faith for sensible and reasonable salary increases.” However, he conceded he did not favour a rollover of existing conditions, saying: “We want to see significant changes if we could.”

United Workers Union wrote to Lucas on May 8 and stated: “For the absence of doubt I confirm our position that we seek a 12 month roll-over of the current agreement with a 2% increase payable 1 July 2020. This is consistent with your public statements regarding wages outcomes in the public sector and a current offer made to other front line public sector workers.”

In a meeting last week, Government negotiators, under instructions from the Treasurer, refused to rollover the agreement with a wage increase, in favour of attacking workers’ rights.



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