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News News Work stoppages toll through WA health system
Western Australia's largest union, the LHMU, will step up its campaign to win better wages for WA's lowest paid public sector workers, by extending rolling stoppages for a second consecutive week.

The move follows a week long campaign of rolling stoppages by support staff at major Perth Hospitals.

West Australian LHMU Assistant Secretary, Carolyn Smith, said the Health Department had left staff with little choice but to intensify their industrial action.

"We are very disappointed that after one week of about 500 workers stopping work, the Health Department still does not see it necessary to come back to the negotiating table," Ms Smith said.

The support workers' previous Enterprise Bargaining Agreement expired at the end of July. Despite four months of intensive negotiations between the LHMU and the State Government, support workers are still no closer to receiving an acceptable pay increase as part of their new EBA.

"It has been over a year since support workers received a pay rise," Ms Smith said.

"In that time, we have had three interest rate rises, petrol prices have soared and the cost of everyday living has gone through the roof."

"We keep hearing about a V8 economy but our support workers are not reaping any benefits. All they are asking is for enough money to help keep their heads above water."

Ms Smith said staff shortages were also putting added pressure on hospital support staff.

"Staffing at our State hospitals is at crisis levels, and it is our support workers that are picking up the slack," Ms Smith said.

"Our support workers are the ones who keep the hospitals running, and it is about time the Health Department realize just how vital they really are."

The rolling stoppages affect orderlies, kitchen staff, cleaners, patient service assistants and sterilization technicians.

 
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