News, media releases

Ferguson sinks to bullying workforce in latest shame on wage negotiations

·       Ferguson’s latest tactic takes negotiation approach back decades
·        Staff battling to get a fair deal threatened by Minister
·        Ferguson using scare tactics despite staff commitment to patient care
Bullying Health Minister Michael Ferguson has taken the Hodgman Government’s behaviour and tactics in the ongoing public sector wage dispute to a new low by blatantly threatening staff battling for a fair go.
Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said if defied belief that Mr Ferguson had threatened staff that they would be stood down and their pay withheld if they did not follow his instructions not to participate in industrial action.
“This is a bullying tactic more at home in the 1970s than in a modern Tasmania and the next low for a government that has refused to approach these negotiations with anything even resembling a fair and reasonable attitude,” Ms Lovell said.
“Health staff and other frontline public sector workers do not take the actions they have been forced to take lightly and they do not take any joy in having to take steps to achieve a fair and reasonable outcome.
“They have been forced into a corner by Premier Hodgman, Michael Ferguson and Treasurer Gutwein.
“The Liberal Government has absolutely no regard for its workforce and they clearly do not value the work the public sector frontline performs, particularly health workers who for the past five years have been holding the hospital system together while Mr Ferguson cuts and slashes.
“Staff are determined that frontline services will not be impacted and they take very, very seriously their duty to deliver the best in patient care.
“Rather than try to intimidate, bully and terrorise their workforce, Mr Ferguson, Premier Hodgman and Treasurer Gutwein need to get serious about an extremely serious situation and get back to the negotiating table with some semblance of good faith.”
Sarah Lovell MLC 
Shadow Health and Preventative Health Care Minister