Queensland public sector workers fight pay offer

PUBLIC SECTOR workers rallied in Brisbane on September 30 to protest over the state government’s paltry 3.25 per cent wage offer. Over 3000 workers participated in the rally.

It was part of state-wide action called by the Queensland Council of Unions with rallies also being held in Cairns, Gold Coast and Townsville, calling for a wage increase that at least matches inflation, running at over 5 per cent in Queensland.

The Brisbane rally drew hospital staff, cleaners, rail workers and administration officers from across the city and coincided with industrial action at every major hospital in the state.

Ron Monaghan, general secretary, of the Queensland Council of Unions, told the rally that a recent poll showed overwhelming popular support for the public sector wage claims.

One Australian Workers Union delegate, Joanne, spoke passionately about the need to defend the workplace rights that previous generations had fought for, saying “our fathers, our mothers…fought too hard for this, and now [the government] want us to give them up. No way”. Joanne concluded by alluding to need to escalate the growing industrial action campaign urging the assembled workers to “… hit ’em where it hurts”.

The rally was the “first time in twenty years that public sector workers, across all unions and across all departments have come together” over a dispute, announced Alex Scott, from the Queensland Public Sector Union. Labor Premier Anna Bligh’s failure to award a fair wage increase had forced many workers into industrial action, he told the rally.

A resolution rejecting trade-offs and demanding that any increase be backdated to the expiration of the last agreement was carried by the rally.

The 3000 unionists then marched to the government executive building in support of a union delegation meeting with government officials. After another two speakers, the workers stayed outside the building chanting defiantly. Eventually, Australian Services Union state secretary Julie Bignell had to urge the mass of workers to disperse to conclude the protest.

Union leaders met with government ministers after the rally to discuss the pay dispute.

By Carl Taylor


Solidarity meetings

Latest articles

Read more

Time to hunt building bosses, not ducks

Instead of talk about duck hunting, the unions should be doing something about the 50 and 60-hour weeks that are the rule on construction sites.

Melb Uni’s week-long strike for secure jobs and a real wage...

On Monday 21 August, following a half day campus-wide strike by Melbourne University NTEU members, five areas including Arts and Law went on to strike for the rest of the week.

Pay rise for NSW teachers, but no workload relief and future...

Some teachers in NSW will receive large pay rises following a deal with the NSW Labor government. But the agreement stretches over four years and contains other disturbing clauses.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here