Premier Anna Bligh marked three years in Queensland’s top job today, but there was little to celebrate.
Instead the milestone signalled fresh troubles for the Government, with the possibility of another health strike.
Nicholas Bolton reports.
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Premier Anna Bligh was putting on a brave face on her third anniversary as leader, but the Government is under pressure with a new health drama emerging.
Brisbane health professionals have intensified their push for better pay and conditions, with a public campaign launched throughout the state today.
Members of the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union, and Queensland Public Sector Union have combined to create the Stronger Together campaign.
The Opposition Leader says he understands employees frustrations, pointing to the cost of living as an obvious reason for a pay increase.
John-Paul Langbroek, Opposition Leader: “The reason they are looking for bigger increases are because they’ve had these massive increases in petrol and water and rego, and the government doesn’t understand it.”
Mr Langbroek also took a shot at health minister Paul Lucas.
John-Paul Langbroek, Opposition Leader: “I don’t support strike action, but I do support a health minister actually sitting down and negotiating with the health workers because at the moment he won’t do that.”
LHMU Secretary Gary Bullock predicts the Government will attempt to stall negotiations.
Garry Bullock, LHMU Secretary: “We expect the tactic of the Government will be to put us into arbitration in the commission, one thing I’ll tell the Government today irrespective of what happens the public campaign will continue right up until the next election.”
The union warns health professionals will be lost to other states, should the government fail to meet their demands.
Gary Bullock, LHMU Secretary: “Members are asking for a reasonable wage increase which keeps them in line with with other states if we don’t we’ll see a mass exodus as we had three or four years ago.”
Nicholas Bolton QUT News.