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Health workers next in line for pandemic leave

HEALTH workers could be next in line to get "pandemic leave" from the Palaszczuk Government after teachers also scored extra time off.

The Courier-Mail today revealed teachers would be given an extra two days annual leave at the end of the school year, on top of their other holidays.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday defended it as "pandemic leave" for those public servants who have had to work extraordinary hours during the COVID crisis.

"Is anyone is going to criticise our police and teachers for getting pandemic leave," she asked.

"I don't think so."

Asked if it was in response to union anger over the deferred pay increase, Ms Palaszczuk said it was always her intention to grant workers pandemic leave.

She confirmed she would also be looking at the state's health workers, saying she believed they also deserved "pandemic leave".

Education Minister Grace Grace with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, today announced “pandemic leave” for some of our most hardest working front line workers – Photo Steve Pohlner
Education Minister Grace Grace with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, today announced “pandemic leave” for some of our most hardest working front line workers – Photo Steve Pohlner

Education Minister Grace Grace said the two days off for teachers was about giving them a "big thank you" for their efforts during COVID.

"We are recognising and talking to the (Queensland Teacher's Union) about workload issues that have been on hold due to COVID-19," she said.

"Obviously we want to make sure that we recognise the extraordinary efforts of teachers and principals.

"And we as a Government make no apologies for that."

The move to give more of our front line workers "pandemic leave" also comes as it was announced earlier this month that Queensland Police officers will receive a one-off $1250 payment and an extra two weeks of leave for "going above and beyond" during the pandemic.

The deal was struck between the Queensland Police Union and State Goverment, which will see $14-15 million paid out to our states officers.

Originally published as Health workers next in line for pandemic leave


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