It’s savage in Queensland

The Queensland government has not only been aggressive in its application of cuts to the health service and the rest of the public sector, it been aggressive in its correspondence too.

NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes recently wrote to the Queensland Minister of Health Lawrence Springborg, asking for further information about his government’s cuts to the health system.

His Chief of Staff, Jake Smith, wrote back that the Minister would reply later in more detail.

“In the interim, however, the Minister has asked me to alert you to savage consequences of hypocrisy, inconsistency and curious silence from various union bosses, which are of concern to nurses and midwives across Queensland whom he represents as Minister,” Smith wrote.

Mr Smith than asked for various pieces of correspondence from the NSWNMA to the previous Queensland government and the federal government “to satisfy the Minister that your letter is genuinely motivated by the wellbeing of Queensland’s valued nurses and midwives and is not politically motivated.”

He went on: “The Minister hopes that you will be able to furnish copies of any of the above as soon as possible, so that we can all work together to stop the savage health cuts from the federal government; and rectify the savage payroll debacle inflicted on Queensland’s nurses and midwives by the previous state government.”

Brett Holmes says the letter is a remarkable insight into what the Queensland Nurses’ Union is up against.

“The QNU is like us – they have always been prepared to take on any government if the interests of nurses demands it. They ran vigorous campaigns against the previous Labor government – as we have done in New South Wales – to improve the conditions of their members,” he said.

“It is very presumptuous of Minister Springborg to say he represents Queensland public health system nurses. In fact, he is their employer and a ruthless one to boot. The QNU represents Queensland nurses and they will continue to get our support as they stand up to this government and oppose its destructive attack on a cherished public health system.”