Workers in the South Australian public health sector have been bargaining with the state government since the middle of 2014. The workers, represented by United Voice, are demanding job security and no further hospital privatisations or outsourcing.

The state Labor government’s stalling has provoked industrial action. More than 100 workers at the Royal Adelaide Hospital braved the rain to participate in a stop-work meeting and rally on 17 April. Staff at the Repatriation General Hospital and the Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) followed suit, with 200 workers walking off the job and meeting outside FMC to demand secure work.

The Weatherill state government has given these workers reason to be worried, recently announcing the privatisation of the Repatriation Hospital and the relocation of the FMC neo-natal intensive care unit.

While crying poor as it privatises the Repatriation Hospital – which specialises in care for the elderly – and rebuffs public hospital workers fighting for pay increases, the government has announced that $10 million will be spent on a new commemorative ANZAC walking trail around Government House.

But hospital workers aren’t about to give in. They plan to take further industrial action until they get the enterprise agreement they want. One worker remarked that their strikes were about protecting the whole sector. “It’s about everyone who needs to use the hospitals.”