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'We want our money back now'

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg

SOUTHERN Downs healthcare workers will have to hand over wads of cash after the State Government requested $1.25 billion be paid back after a glitch in the payroll system.

The glitch saw pay checks plastered with extra zeros in May last year with 7701 Darling Downs workers overpaid, totalling $8.7 million.

With Health Minister Lawrence Springborg lifting the moratorium last month, it all needs to be paid back over an eight-year period.

Queensland Health general human resource services deputy director Lyn Rowland said payments would be recovered over a period of time to suit each worker's needs.

"Now that the temporary suspension on the recovery of overpayments has been lifted, Queensland Health will gradually be contacting staff to resolve their overpayments," Ms Rowland said.

"Given the significant number of staff affected, this is a considerable process that will take time."

She said each worker would be dealt with individually and a payment plan would be worked out to suit both parties.

"Staff will be provided with choice and flexibility when determining a repayment schedule," Ms Rowland said.

"If staff are not satisfied or wish to dispute any amount, we will sit down with them and work through it individually."

She said workers would be given the repayment options of payroll deductions, credit card, direct debit, cash or by cheque.

Ms Rowland assured no funds would be retracted before consultation with the worker.

Mr Springborg said staff needed to be patient and understand he was putting the payroll saga to an end.

"We need to get on with fixing Queensland Health and lifting the moratorium is part of the process," he said.

"The staff need to be thanked for their patience and understanding, not just in this area but right across Queensland."

A district breakdown of salary overpayments can be found at statements.cabinet.qld.gov.au.

Topics:  lawrence springborg, lyn rowland, payroll system, queensland health


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