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AWU Members Operational Services | Queensland Health EB11 Bargaining

August 19, 2022 2:19 pm

AWU Members Operational Services | Queensland Health EB11 Bargaining

Workplace safety and addressing work-caused mental health were the main items on the agenda last week as bargaining continued for operational workers’ next agreement.

A Proper Strategy for Mental Health

AWU members from across the State told stories about the mental health struggles of workers as a result of workplace stress and bullying.  

It was clear from the discussions that a significant amount of workers have been struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, and that in many cases these issues are being caused and aggravated by conditions in the workplace.  

Mental health injuries are just as real as a physical injury, and controls need to be in place in the workplace to minimise the risk of operational workers developing mental injuries as a result of work.

That’s why the AWU is fighting for a requirement to be added into your next agreement that says the employer must develop a strategy to manage the risk of mental health issues in the workplace for operational workers.  

Workplace Health and Safety

Queensland Health has a responsibility to keep their workers safe at work – but right now, workers at many hospitals don’t have a seat at the table when it comes to their workplace health and safety.

The bargaining meeting last week heard examples where safety issues were ignored or not addressed in Queensland Hospitals, with some resulting in physical injury to operational workers. 

This is what happens when safety committees aren’t run by workers, for workers.  

Most Queensland Hospitals have management-led safety committees and ‘Safety Champions’, positions that are all too often filled by people that management know won’t cause a fuss about safety issues in the workplace.  

The AWU is calling on Queensland Health to end the use of ‘Safety Champions’ and management-let safety committees and replace them with worker-led operational services safety committees at each Queensland Health site.  

These new committees would be led by health and safety representatives chosen by operational workers, guaranteeing workers get a seat at the table when decisions are being made about their health and safety at work.

If you are passionate about safety in the workplace and are willing to stand up and speak out for your work mates, then you might be interested in becoming a Health and Safety Representative (HSR)!

HSRs are fully trained and have functions and rights that “safety champions” will never have!

If you are interested in becoming an HSR, email [email protected] to register your interest.

Changes to COVID-19 Response Leave Period

In a win for Queensland Health workers, the Department has announced that the entitlement to two days additional COVID-19 response leave for Queensland Health staff will be extended to the 31 March 2023!

COVID-19 response leave was provided to Queensland Health staff in late 2020 in recognition of the commitment workers have shown throughout the pandemic. 

This leave was originally intended to be a one-off provision that was meant to be used by 9 September 2022. 

AWU members are encouraged to take this leave before it expires at the end of March next year. 

A flyer can be downloaded here – please print this and share the word!

Note: A worker must have been employed on the date of 10 September 2020 to be entitled to COVID-19 response leave. Employees with any remaining COVID-19 response leave balance will see that balance on their payslips.

What We Are Fighting For

Click the links below to find out what the AWU is negotiating for you in this round of bargaining:

If your workgroup isn’t listed above, you can view our full Log of Claims for EB11 here.

Help Us Bargain – Share Your Stories

Have you ever: 

  • Not been paid the correct amount by Queensland Health and have had the difference held over by a fortnight or more?
  • Been pressured into taking a shift you weren’t rostered for?
  • Been pressured into taking an eight-hour break instead of a ten-hour break between shifts?
  • Felt tired on your drive home after a double shift with an eight-hour shift break?
  • Suffered from an injury from strenuous work?
  • Missed several weekends in a row or missed family commitments because of poor rostering?
  • Felt tired, overworked or depressed as a result of your workload?
  • Had your rostering suggestions knocked back by management?
  • Been asked to trade your right to RDOs for permanency?
  • Been subject to an unfair disciplinary process?
  • Been let down by MAYBO training?

Horror stories from AWU members can help the Union make the bosses at Queensland Health see that your conditions are unfair and must be changed. 

If you have personally experienced any of the following at work and are comfortable with your story being shared during negotiations, please email [email protected]

Be a part of our community.

Join the AWU.

Stronger together.


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