Bundy unions take to the street for better wage offers
BUNDABERG unions came together today to ask for better wages and conditions for public service workers as part of a state-wide rally.
Together Union as well as the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union and Electrical Trades Union met at Buss Park to rally for a payrise to come from enterprise bargaining between employers and employees in these sectors and changing the laws surrounding these discussions.
Together Union organiser for the Wide Bay Kayleen Dwyer said the current bargaining systems were inadequate and the national rally aimed to see these laws changed.
"It's all about union members coming together from lots of different unions to work on changing the industrial laws that see workers continuously disadvantaged when it comes to bargaining for fair wages and conditions,” Ms Dwyer said.
Together Union lead organiser for central and southern Queensland Allison Finley-Bissett attended the Bundaberg rally and said there had been plenty of hurdles when it came to negotiations with employers.
Ms Finley-Bissett said she had been in negotiations that took as little as two weeks, but under Campbell Newman's leadership there was a protracted negotiation that didn't result in a decent wages offer until the government changed.
"There are unions in Australia that have been locked out of workplaces for over a year in an attempt to get a bargain to happen,” she said.
"When you think about it, a lock out is actually quite full on because those workers aren't even allowed to go to work if the want to.
"That's the employer deciding they're not allowed to come in because the employer doesn't want to bargain respectfully with those workers.”
When asked how long the bargaining process can be, Ms Finley-Bissett said "it can vary considerably”.
"We're in the middle of a bargain in the public sector and it's absolutely gobsmacking at the moment.
"I don't understand how the Labor government - that public servants voted in because we were so outraged by what happened with Campbell Newman - is now turning around and saying 'you don't need anything more than the state-wage case decision, you don't need an EB payrise, we're going to make you an offer which means for the lowest paid public servants you won't have a payrise',” she said.
"I mean hello, this is the government we thought we were going to get?”
The NewsMail has contacted the government for comment.