Our members recently delivered our submission to the committee investigating the Industrial Relations Amendment Bill 2015. Ambulance officer Michael Beak, school cleaner Barbara Turomsza and radiographer Des Hardman joined United Voice co-ordinator Michael Clifford to present our submission on behalf of all our members. It comes as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that she would amend the legislation which outlawed agreements on employment security, protections against contracting out and union encouragement.
Des Hardman, a radiographer at Logan Hospital outlined the impact the Newman Government changes had on him and his fellow health professionals. “Taking away the rights and protections of people in the workplace is unfair and it leaves employees exposed and vulnerable,” explained Des. “The workplace can become unsafe, it creates an environment of fear and uncertainty and ultimately leads to the demoralisation of staff and the destruction of workforce morale. I have seen this as well in my workplace.” He called on the committee to restore the rights taken away by the previous government.
School cleaner, Barb Turomsza told the committee when the Newman Government took away the job security clause from her Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, they took away school cleaners’ stability. “It puts pressure on our families, especially our budgets,” said Barb. “It makes us second-guess purchasing big-ticket items on hire-purchase or getting a car loan as we become worried about being able to pay that debt.” Michael Beak, an advanced care paramedic also spoke about the impact the legislative changes had on ambulance officers. “As you can imagine our job can be hard and distressing at times. We see normal people at the worst times in their lives,” said Michael. “And yet despite the emotional rollercoaster we can find ourselves on, we now face uncertainty regarding job security, fairness and natural justice and a voice in our workplace. The very workplace that so many of us have made sacrifices, often at the expense of our families, because we believed we were a valued asset to the Service so many of us have dedicated the better parts of our working lives too.”
The Parliamentary Committee is evenly split between government and opposition so it’s hard to know whether or not the bill will pass through Parliament. That’s why we’ve set up a petition calling for our rights to be restored. Click here if you haven’t yet signed it.