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Workers demand a fair cash deal
Nicola Kalmar Workers demand a fair cash deal

Hospital and education workers rallied at Broome Regional Hospital last week to demand higher pay from the State Government, as part of a Statewide campaign.

Education assistants and hospital staff waved posters demanding “a fair deal” after the Government offered support workers a pay rise of $22 to $28 a week.

United Voice WA assistant secretary Carolyn Smith said industrial action taken by support staff was a last resort.

“The Barnett Government is refusing to pay a fair wage to members, in the face of soaring household fees and charges and rising cost of living in Western Australia,” she said.

“United Voice members have been negotiating their EBAs for the past six months now, to no avail.”

She said support staff in WA were concerned about job losses because of the Government’s plans to privatise hospitals.

Education assistants and hospital support workers played an invaluable role in the community and needed adequate financial support, she said.

Broome Primary School education assistant Catherine McGoldrick works with special needs students.

The single mother, who has lived in Broome for six years, said she survived on less than $1000 a fortnight to cover rent, bills and electricity.

“I love doing my job … Broome Primary School is an awesome school and we provide huge support to teachers,” she said. “But I wouldn’t be able to continue in this job … it’s the Education Department we are having a fight with.”

Long-term Broome resident Liz Parsons has worked at Broome Hospital for 14 years as a food attendant and feared she would have to leave town if the Government refused to offer a fair deal.

“I won’t be able to afford to stay in Broome … it’s way too expensive,” she said.