Treasurer attacks health care workers during COVID-19 crisis
Public health workers at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic are set to lose job security and working conditions, even as they work to stop the spread in South Australia.
United Workers Union members are delivering meals to sick people, pushing beds to ICUs, sterilising equipment and theatres for surgery, and doing everything they can to stop the spread of this pandemic while maintaining effective health services for South Australians.
United Workers Union – the union for health care workers is calling out Treasurer Rob Lucas for attempting to slash the working conditions of vital health workers at a time when they’re needed most.
In light of the current crisis the public health system is facing, workers volunteered to roll over their current workplace agreement, keeping the status quo so that everyone can focus on delivering services and keeping the community safe.
Lucas and the Liberal Government have refused to roll over the current agreement in favour of attacking workers’ current conditions.
United Workers Union Public Sector Coordinator Paul Blackmore said the Treasurer is attempting to slash working conditions for frontline health care staff.
“This is outrageous. Health workers are trying to do the right thing and take pressure off SA Health during this crisis.
“Instead, Rob Lucas is insisting that workers must negotiate for their working conditions, and he is telling them that those working conditions will be taken away.
“Every day health workers put themselves at risk by caring for patients with COVID-19. In return for their sacrifice they’re being thrown aside by a government that still expects them to carry this burden.”
Health care workers across the state are up in arms over the disingenuous messaging that their work is essential and highly valued during this crisis, when the government is sending a clear message through negotiations that they don’t matter.
United Workers member and health care worker Ricardo Ahumada said: “We are all working incredibly hard on the front line of this COVID-19 crisis providing quality healthcare to the state’s most vulnerable, and to limit the spread of the virus to the community.
“We’re under a lot of pressure and working around the clock to make this happen.
“At a time like this we’re asking to be supported by the government – support us so we can focus on providing the best care and protection possible, because what’s most important right now is getting South Australia through this pandemic.”
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