Queensland public-sector unions have threatened widespread strike action following revelations that 200 jobs are to be axed from the Townsville Hospital and Health Service.
Management revealed the plan to unions and staff on Monday, saying the cuts were needed to amend a $20 million budget blowout. Around 130 positions will be sacrificed in the next week, including 45 full-time equivalent nursing roles.
Another 71 jobs will go over the coming 12 months, staff were also told on Monday.
QNU will present a strong case in the IRC
QNU secretary Beth Mohle says nurses are stunned and now fear for their jobs.
"Our members are just quite numb and devastated but that's fast turning to anger," Ms Mohle said.
Ms Mohle says the QNU will present a strong case against the cuts in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC).
"We have got a tool for managing nursing and midwifery workloads called the business planning framework," Ms Mohle said.
"It's industrially mandated, it's mentioned in our award and our EBA so we're certainly wanting to make sure that is not affected in any way."
Rural health service can not afford to lose nurses
"Not only Townsville Hospital but Ayr Health Service, Cardwell, Charters Towers, Home Hill, Hughenden, Ingham, Palm Island, Magnetic Island," she said.
"It certainly could include Indigenous communities and could include other rural communities which as we all know are totally reliant upon public health services."
Ms Mohle says the QNU will work with others in the sector to save jobs.
"We'll galvanise health unions to work together to protect our very proud public health services," she said.
Qld nurses launch ads against job losses
An advertising campaign has also been launched in North Queensland cinemas, with the ads being played until Christmas.
Ms Mohle has asked the premier, treasurer and ministers to watch the ads before the September 11 budget, which she fears will detail plans for 4000 job cuts in Queensland Health.