Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said Queensland unions share Labor’s guilt in the loss of more than a billion dollars stripped from hospitals by the health payroll fiasco.
In Parliament this morning the report of the Commission of Inquiry led by Mr Richard Chesterman AO QC documented improper favouritism awarded to IBM by the former Labor Government’s project director Terry Burns.
Mr Springborg tabled the minutes of a Queensland Health Agency Consultative Committee meeting between five departmental managers and six union representatives a month before the failed implementation of the IBM payroll system.
“To the union bosses, I say this – just as Terry Burns gave IBM a free ride at the expense of taxpayers, so you indulged the Labor Party at the direct expense of your own members,” Mr Springborg said.
“On the eve of the disaster when all the major tests had already failed, bureaucrats shared congratulations with union representatives and talked of more meetings ‘in collaboration with union colleagues’.
“This is the culture of a Labor Government in which union bosses sat down with bureaucrats for endless meetings while the most basic interests of health workers were wasted.
“A cast of hundreds – including Labor and its union mates played a part in this lemming-like journey to oblivion and no-one intervened.”
Mr Springborg said that in March 2010 on the eve of the payroll launch health unions were mute, even when Labor imposed a new ‘No roster, no pay’ rule.
“The edict forced many workers to fill in roster forms for the first time,” he said.
“The avalanche of paperwork clogged the new pay system within three pay periods.”
Mr Springborg welcomed the report of the Commission of Inquiry. He said it contained four recommendations that would guide future practice in the administration of contracts vital to health and other essential services across Queensland.
Minister for Health
The Honourable Lawrence Springborg
6th of August 2013