Union strains vocal chords against IR bill changes

UNION members protested outside Queensland Parliament with an urn to symbolise what they say is the death of worker rights and risks to ambulance officers health if Queensland's industrial act changes as proposed.

The United Voice union fears the latest changes to the Industrial Relations bill will remove vital elements of collective bargaining for ambulance officers.

The union made the comments as the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee held a public meeting about the impact of the proposed amendments.

"If important fatigue management and rostering provisions are removed from agreements we feel it will only be a matter of time before this will lead to injury or even death of an officer, patient or member of the public," ambulance officer Michael Freeman said.

School cleaner Barbara Turomsza also is worried about workload management provisions being removed, claiming this will impact on children's health.

"Without thorough cleaning, our schools are the perfect breeding ground for germs and disease," she said.

"If the workload management is removed we will have to clean more rooms, with fewer resources in the same timeframe. It's common sense if schools aren't cleaned properly, children will become ill."

The union believes the changes are a resurrection of WorkChoices despite Prime Minister Tony Abbott saying it was "dead, buried and cremated", hence the symbolic urn.



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