Health workers call for end to job uncertainty
FAR Northern health workers have demanded an end to job uncertainty, saying a lack of information on rumoured cuts in the industry is causing them crippling stress.
More than 200 people, including members of the Together, United Voice and Queensland Nurses Union, rallied outside Cairns Base Hospital yesterday afternoon against feared significant job cuts.
Home and Community Care worker and Queensland Nurses Union member Elise Lesmeister said she had been left wondering about her job security.
"We just want to know what is going on. It has just been all closed-door. It's just the sitting, waiting and wondering if I've only go two weeks left at my job," she said.
"We've had very little communication from our executive. They know exactly what is going on but they won't tell us, so the stress has been building since last September."
Edmonton mum Doreen Deede also attended yesterday's rally because she is concerned for the future health of her daughter Emma, 3, who has cerebral palsy.
"Emma relies heavily on support she receives from Queensland Health and I'm very concerned about the level of support she has at this point in time, so a further reduction in services would be devastating," Ms Deede said.
Together Union Cairns representative Dr Sandy Donald addressed the crowd, urging them to approach the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service Board and local politicians for answers.
"We had a meeting between unions and management yesterday. They mentioned a dollar figure and not one whisper about how many jobs or when. The rumour is 300 to 400 jobs, that is plausible and it is a disaster."
Contact details of relevant members were distributed. "It has taken a lot of effort just to find out how to contact the board," Dr Donald said.
"The unions will be asking for a meeting with the board and we want the board to turn up and talk to the public.
"We want them to tell us exactly what they're planning. They need to be accountable."
Far North Queensland Nurses Union organiser Kaylene Turnbull said workers would fight to maintain services.
"It is the health workers in this town, along with the community, who have managed to get the level of services in this town we have at the moment," she said.
"And come hell or high water we will not go down without a fight."
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Talk facts: More than 200 health workers and supporters rallied outside Cairns Base Hospital yesterday afternoon against feared significant job cuts. Picture: MIKE WATT