Fisheries patrol officers strike for a better deal
MACKAY Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers won't rule out further strikes to convince the State Government they want a better deal regarding wages and conditions.
Mackay members of the Together trade union gathered at the Marina Wednesday to protest the latest offer from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Further protests took place throughout Queensland Wednesday as Boating and Fisheries officers rallied to engage in stoppages, strikes and industrial work bans.
After going on strike, Patrol officers moved a motion to continue further strikes until the State Government organises another deal.
They claim the strike action is being taken to secure proper recognition for working public holidays and weekends.
The protests are forming part of a rolling protected industrial action against the wages and conditions offer.
Together union regional organiser Dolph Lossberg said that the latest offer was a "downright disgrace".
"These lower-paid workers who are doing a good job looking after the reef and also our safety on the waters, they've been slapped in the face," Mr Lossberg said.
He said there were about 120 patrol officers in Queensland and he believed 80 per cent of them would be on strike.
"There will be more and more strikes as the situation unfolds. This is from the Gold Coast to Cairns. These lower-paid people who are doing work to ensure the protection of the reef should be earning a fair wage," he said.
The Together union is urging the State Government to come back with a new offer for the workers.
"What we need our local members of parliament to do is to get the authorities back to the bargaining table for a better deal for our workers," Mr Lossberg said.
Together secretary Alex Scott said members of the union at Boating and Fisheries were dedicated to ensuring the protection of fisheries resources and keeping waterways safe.
"Strike action is only ever viewed as a last resort. We are calling on the department to pay superannuation for members at QBFP when working weekends and public holidays."
The union believes Boating and Fisheries patrol officers must be allocated wage parity with their colleagues at Maritime Safety Queensland, part of the Department of Transport and Main Roads.