The union bosses from the United Workers Union have demonstrated how out of touch with South Australians they are, with their disgraceful and dangerous actions to institute cleaning bans in our hospitals putting patient safety at risk, in the midst of a global pandemic.
“These disgraceful actions from the union bosses are completely unacceptable and run counter to health advice in terms of the essential cleaning of our hospitals, putting at risk staff and patient safety, and demonstrating how out of touch the union is,” Treasurer Rob Lucas said.
“The State Government has applied to the South Australian Employment Tribunal to seek orders for this industrial action to cease immediately.
“It defies belief that during a global pandemic, the union bosses would institute dangerous bans as part of an industrial campaign to force the Government to agree to their pay and industrial demands.”
SA Health’s advice on these bans has been clear, as follows:
- Cleaning bans may pose a risk to patient and staff safety in regard to increased reservoirs for infectious particles as well as transmission via fomites
- There may also be a risk of bed block due to the non-cleaning of beds, as unclean beds cannot be used
- Food safety issues due to the ban on undertaking the required food safety temperature checks
“South Australia’s handling of the global COVID-19 pandemic has been marked by an outstanding public health response and the South Australian community’s collective efforts in keeping our state safe – actions such as those proposed by the UWU that undermines that health response should rightly be condemned,” Mr Lucas said.
“The UWU should immediately inform their members that they will no longer be required to institute these risky and downright dangerous cleaning bans in our state’s hospitals.”
At this stage, the union’s industrial action is planned for several sites including the Flinders Medical Centre, Lyell McEwin Hospital, the Repat and several regional hospitals, however the UWU has indicated that it may expand its action to cover additional sites.