My question is for the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services. Given increasing cost-of-living pressures, when will the government stop delaying the hard-earned pay rise for frontline Queensland Health nurses and midwives that was agreed to in negotiations more than two months ago?
I will ask the member to rephrase the last part of that question. I believe it could be asked without the imputation.
Given cost-of-living pressures, when will the government allow the hard-earned pay rise for frontline Queensland Health nurses and midwives?
Minister for Health:
I thank the member for her question. The Palaszczuk government is very proud of our support of workers in this state, both across government and the private sector. We have shown that since we came into government in 2015 by putting in place initiatives to support workers in industrial relations, workplace health and safety and compensation. There is no doubt that our health workers have done an extraordinary job, and they continue to do an extraordinary job each and every day. We are working through our enterprise bargaining arrangements. I look forward to delivering a wage increase for our health workers because they absolutely deserve it. I am proud that we recently announced changes in relation to COVID and sick leave so they do not need to exhaust their sick leave when they need to take leave because of COVID.
I am very proud of the efforts this government makes. The fact is that, irrespective of any questions or policies the Greens party may put up, it is Labor governments that have stood up for workers in this state time and time again. It is Labor governments that support the right to belong to a union. It is Labor governments that support the right for unions to access sites and support workers. It is Labor governments that ensure there are strong workplace health and safety laws, including industrial manslaughter laws and labour hire laws, making sure that construction companies and subcontractors are being paid so that it flows down to staff and they can make sure that people are in jobs. I am very proud of the rate of unemployment in this state—the lowest in 44 years. We are very proud of our legacy. We are proud of what we are delivering today.
We will continue to be a government that prides itself on looking after workers. That includes putting our health workers front and centre and supporting them, which is what we did throughout the whole of COVID. Every decision we made was not just about keeping the community safe, it was about protecting our health workers and making sure they were not completely overwhelmed, as we saw in other countries such as the UK, which is now looking for 96,000 workers. They have 96,000 vacancies in the national health system in the UK right now. We pride ourselves on how we have supported them, and we will continue to support them in the future.