Premier Hodgman has disgracefully backed his Health Minister Michael Ferguson’s move to stand down health workers who take part in industrial action over the government’s failed wage negotiations.
The Premier told State Parliament today he supported his Health Minister who on March 14 issued a statement threating health staff that “where duties aren’t performed, industrial measures including pay reductions and stand-downs will be pursued”.
“Rather than negotiate in good faith and offer nurses and other health staff a fair and reasonable pay increase, Premier Hodgman and Michael Ferguson are now gearing up to throw them under the bus,” Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said.
“Rather than negotiate with staff in good faith as they should have been more than nine months ago, the Liberal Government has resorted to bullying, threatening and punishing its workforce.
“The Premier has no intention of supporting his public sector frontline and negotiating in good faith and has now sunk to the new low of cheering on his Health Minister as he bullies the health workforce.
“Since Premier Hodgman joined in the negotiations, the situation has only become worse.
“The Premier agrees with Michael Ferguson’s threats to nurses – and to some of the lowest-paid workers in the health and hospital system including cleaners – that they will be stood and down and their pay will be docked.
“He agrees with this move to threaten health staff who have been holding the system together on Michael Ferguson’s watch, even though it is without precedent in Tasmanian history.
“Tasmanians will agree that is an unmitigated disgrace.”