Non-clinical contract workers at the Queensland Children’s Hospital are holding a public rally and BBQ outside the hospital today to protest getting paid up to $10 less per hour than Queensland Health employees who do the same job at other hospitals.
The workers are employed by Medirest, which is contracted by the hospital through parent company Compass to provide catering and support services.
United Voice co-ordinator Damien Davie said the Medirest enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) was based on the Hospitality Award, resulting in reduced weekend rates, lower shift allowances, less annual leave and inferior conditions for workers.
"The minimum wage rates they receive from Medirest have left many of these workers struggling to pay the bills and feed their families," he said.
"They all do an important job for the children's hospital. Surely Compass can do the right thing and pay them the same rates given to Queensland Health employees doing the same jobs in other Queensland hospitals.
"They're protesting today to let the community and Compass know that they deserve dignity, respect and a job they can count on. The solution is simple - bring their pay and conditions in line with everyone else."
The Children’s Hospital contract was awarded to Compass by the Newman Government, and is currently being reviewed.
Davie said the workers were stuck on a dodgy agreement that needed updating to reflect current pay and conditions.
"The Newman Government may have been ok with multi-national companies not paying penalty rates, but I’d be very surprised if the current government is,” he said.
"Compass posted a profit of more than $1 billion last year. This is another example of wage theft by a massive corporation.
"Compass needs to recognise that the pay and conditions it's imposing on workers at Queensland Children's Hospital have become unacceptable and workers deserve better.”
The Public Rally and BBQ will be held:
Friday, 8 February
11:30am – 1:00pm
Outside Queensland Children’s Hospital
Corner of Graham St & Stanley St, South Brisbane.