Today private pathology covid testers will rally in hazmat suits for fair pay.
WHEN: 1 pm TODAY Saturday 17 July 2021
WHERE: St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital – 457 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill QLD 4000.
WHAT: Private pathology workers from the two largest for-profit pathology companies Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology and QML pathology are rallying out the front of St Andrew’s private hospital for fair pay and secure jobs.
WHO: United Workers Union spokesperson Karthika Raghwan will be available for comment. Both companies have policies forbidding workers from speaking to the media under threat of retribution so workers are wearing hazmat suits to protect their identity.
Quotes attributable to United Workers Union spokesperson Karthika Raghwan:
“Workers at private pathology companies like Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology and QML Pathology are on the frontline of the COVID-19 response in Queensland. They are risking their health and safety on a daily basis to keep the community safe, but are paid as little as $23.67 for their immense contribution.”
“Healius, the parent company of QML Pathology, received $11 million of taxpayer money and made record profits throughout the COVID pandemic. Instead of passing a fair share of their profits onto workers, QML Pathology have rammed through an Enterprise Agreement that cuts pay and conditions for frontline workers.”
Quotes from QML Pathology and Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology workers who must remain anonymous:
“As Union members on the front line of a pandemic, we are rallying for support from the public and the federal opposition. We should all be demanding private pathology start treating their workers with dignity and respect.”
“We think it’s disgusting that public money is handed out to these companies who keep clinics understaffed and essential workers on poverty wages to make their record profits.”
“It’s not just frontline workers being bled dry; the taxpayer is being ripped off too!”
“Working for QML is extremely insecure. They leave staff on minimum hour shifts so we are kept dangling like puppets on a string. Not knowing when we are working and having such low pay means we are constantly stressed and anxious with no secure income.”
QML’s profits grew 150%, approximately $200 million, during the pandemic. The Board of Directors have a combined salary of $6.5 million, whilst workers were offered a meager 2.25% pay increase as part of enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations. A sample collector working at a QML COVID testing clinic makes as little as $23.67 per hour, leaving them $15,000 worse off than their counterparts in the public sector. It would take a worker over 34 years to earn one year of QML CEO’s wage of $1.65 million. Meanwhile, SNP have doubled their profits in their Pathology division (103% increase), making more in half a year than in the previous financial year.
NOTE: Everyone attending this event will be expected to adhere to the COVID Safe Plan in place at the site.
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