Health Workers Walk off The Job at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

By Petrina Smith
Tuesday, 15 July, 2014

More than 500  health workers have walked off the job at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in the first of a series of rolling 12-hour stoppages.
The industrial action has seen elective surgery cancelled. Diagnostic tests and treatments, as well as outpatient appointments cancelled and and patient discharges delayed.
The stoppages are taking place after the State Government refused to give more than 18,000 workers in the public health system a pay rise equal to that received by doctors, nurses and hospital support staff this year.
The State Government is offering a pay rise of 2.75 per cent to HSUWA members. The doctors, nurses and support staff they work alongside will receive pay rises of about 4 per cent this year.
HSUWA Secretary Dan Hill said health workers were angry that the government had refused to budge from its initial offer.
"Our members feel completely devalued by this government and Health Minister Dr Kim Hames in particular," he said.
"They do not understand how the government can grant doctors, nurses and support staff wage increases of around 4% and then expect them to accept 2.75%.
"All these workers are Health Department employees, and should be treated equitably. For an employer to provide some of its employees a decent wage rise and not others is divisive and creates tension in the health system."
The next 12-hour stoppage will take place this Thursday 17th July at Royal Perth Hospital, commencing at 6am.
Work bans already in place will continue. These include bans on revenue-raising activities, like encouraging the use of private insurance in public hospitals, as well as processing PBS claims and data entry for activity-based funding.
"Our members have not taken industrial action of this scale in 13 years, and we very much regret any impact this will have on the public. Hopefully, the State Government will come back to the negotiating table in good faith, and offer our members an equal pay rise to the other health workers they work alongside," Mr Hill concluded.

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