HACSU refusing to negotiate in good faith

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Health

Industrial action announced with no notice by union bosses today is deliberately targeted at patients and people visiting hospitals.

The list of actions put out by HACSU today will have a direct action on infection control and cleanliness in hospitals, endangering patients, visitors, staff and other health professionals. I call on HACSU to immediately call off these dangerous actions.

The Government is negotiating in good faith and has put forward fair and reasonable offers and proposals for unions to take to their members. Instead of doing so and coming back to Government with a counter-offer, HACSU bosses are now refusing to negotiate and are unfairly targeting patients with unreasonable industrial action – action which we only learnt about through the media, receiving an emailed letter afterwards.

It is disappointing that the unions are committed to disrupting the lives of Tasmanians and putting patient safety at risk, despite the Government’s ongoing attempts to engage with Tasmania’s public sector unions in a productive and good faith manner.

The industrial action which we have learnt about in the media today will clearly affect patients who need services in hospitals, as well as their families and other visitors to hospitals.

We have indicated our willingness to negotiate terms of our offer, including improved wage increases, and it is now well beyond time for union bosses to stop the politicking and either allow their members to vote on our offer or produce their formal counter proposals.

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