Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has apologised to health workers affected by a payroll bungle and has pulled out of an overseas trade trip in order to focus on solving the problem.
More than 1000 Queensland Health workers have received little or no pay and tens of thousands have been paid incorrectly following the introduction of a new payroll system in March.
Bligh announced in a statement yesterday that the Treasurer Andrew Fraser will lead the upcoming trade mission to Latin America to ensure the Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas is able to remain focused on addressing the Queensland Health payroll issue.
Lucas was to be acting premier while Bligh was overseas.
Bligh said: “I want to sincerely apologise, once again, to the Queensland health workers affected and assure them that the Health Minister is putting in place arrangements to manually pay any staff let down by the system.”
"I also want to ensure that the Health Minister can devote all his attention and energy to resolving the health payroll issue and every health worker receives the correct pay.”
Gay Hawksworth, Queensland Nurses’ Union secretary, said last week: “It is completely unacceptable that members right across the state continue to suffer significant payroll errors under Queensland Health’s new system, which was rolled out last month.
“There has been an appalling lack of contingency planning by Queensland Health. It appears no protocols were prepared, prior to the launch of the new system, for dealing with pay problems that might arise for individuals.
“I understand and appreciate that for many members this has been a very distressing and frustrating time. Nurses and midwives, regardless of their personal or financial circumstances, are entitled to be paid in full. This is a fundamental entitlement of any worker.”