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4 min read

Queensland Nurses vs. Government Priorities

Nurses in Queensland Demand Recognition and Fair Treatment

Queensland Premier Steven Miles has told QLD Nurses & Paramedics, who have just worked through a pandemic often without appropriate PPE, that they have some of the best wages and conditions in the country. This statement comes amidst his approval of the Best Practice Industry Conditions policy, which provides trades workers with double time when it rains and an extra $1000 a week for working on a project 50km or more from the employer's address, among other perks. If the conditions are so good, why have one in five left since the beginning of Covid, with fewer doctors and nurses employed now than 20 years ago?

Nurses are leaving in droves as a result of poor pay and conditions, compounded by the enormous stress resulting from a health system in crisis. We can barely secure pay rises that keep up with inflation and the cost of living, with the most recent EBA delivering an effective pay cut. We are witnessing people dying due to ambulance ramping and elective surgery wait times. Because of these challenges, we have seen 75,000 leave in recent years, while the government thinks investments directed towards perks that are almost equivalent to what we earn in an entire week are the best use of taxpayer money.

This is insane; while babies are reportedly dying at double the rate they were 4 years ago, surgery and dental waiting lists are constantly growing, and our government is allocating ludicrously generous funds to the CFMEU for what is standard travel for most people. Nurses not only receive no travel allowance, but they also have to pay for their own parking when they get to work. Our staff work very hard, literally saving lives, and we want to do the very best we can for our patients. However, we are often restricted by the government's investment.

It's reported that they're hiring bureaucrats at a higher rate than they're hiring doctors. We need to restructure the healthcare system so nurses get the pay rises they deserve and the public investment required so they can deliver the care they want to that the Australian people so desperately need.

It’s time to make a change. 

By reducing the Administrator to Nurse/Midwife ratio from 5:10 to 1:10 in Australia, we could pay nurses on average more than 30% more and deliver the health services needed, without increasing the budget.

Find out more and show your support for our Go Local campaign: npaa.redunion.com.au/go-local

Kara Thomas

NPAQ President