ETU calls for CEO resignation after Cairns Hospital lies to media about paying workers 

Electrical Trades Union members at Cairns and Hinterland Hospital are left without payment for three weeks as COVID leave payments go unpaid for another day. The hospital released a statement to the media today, untruthfully claiming that workers had been paid. In light of this, the union is calling for Chief Executive Tina Chinery’s resignation immediately.

This evening, Channel 7 Cairns aired a segment on the Queensland Health workers who were not paid COVID leave entitlements. The segment included a statement from the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital which stated that employees had been paid Thursday morning, which is not true.

“It’s a complete lie,” says Far North Organiser Rob Hill. “Our members have not been paid, and the Chief Executive of the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Tina Chinery has lost all integrity by stooping to this level. We are calling for her resignation from the position effective immediately.”

“Our members have not been paid, they are still waiting after we brought this issue to Hospital staff including the Chief Executive. Members have gone three weeks without payment, and now they’ve been subjected to a bald-faced lie on the evening news.

“This shows blatant disrespect for our front-line workers who have worked in the hospital throughout the pandemic, the very least they should expect is to be paid what they’re owed. Ms Chinery has paid no mind to what kind of affect this has on members, and is not fit for the position of Chief Executive,” says Mr Hill.

Mr Hill has been chasing various hospital staff all week after hearing from a worker that his pay slip arrived empty of the COVID leave he was entitled to.

“Hospital staff have consistently told me that they’re following it up and that payments have been ‘signed off’, but I’m solely concerned with the wellbeing and security of our members. The members have not been paid. This is disgusting behaviour from the hospital,” says Mr Hill.

“When it comes to workers going without the money they are owned, the only thing the employer should be concerned with is getting the money to the workers. One of our members is under severe financial hardship and stress, he was worried about how he would feed his family yesterday. Now another night goes by and he hasn’t been paid what he’s owed.”

“All around, this is despicable. The workers should have been paid correctly in the first place. That was the first problem. Now they have largely ignored communications for four days, where we’ve seen no outcome, and to top it off the hospital has lied to the media, and by extension, their workers, and to the wider community in Cairns and surrounds.

“You can’t treat workers like this. You can’t treat human beings like this. The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital need to pay their workers now,” says Rob Hill.


For more information, please call Rob Hill on 0430 072 049 or Kristin Perissinotto on 0448 633 858.