A Queensland nurse is making a human rights claim against Queensland Health after being threatened with the sack.
Margaret Gilbert received a “show cause” letter from Metro North Health Service after speaking to the media.
Her comments to The Sunday-Mail newspaper related to the standard of training for nurses.
Queensland Health’s code of conduct states that employees cannot make statements to media without authorisation.
Nurse says she is representing members
Ms Gilbert claims she is legally entitled to make the public comments because she is a representative of the NPAQ.
The NPAQ is a rival union to the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union, and represents more than 5000 members.
Worker Law says human rights violated
Worker Law is representing Ms Gilbert, who is instructing senior counsel Jim Murdoch QC.
Additionally, the Honorable Joseph Ludwig and Troy Spence as junior counsel are assisting.
Worker Law is seeking an urgent injunction against the disciplinary action, arguing Ms Gilbert has a right to speak to the media under existing laws as they relate to industrial associations.
In addition, it says the case is an important test of the state’s new Human Rights legislation.
In particular, the sections involving freedom of association and freedom of expression.
The firm believes the law protects Ms Gilbert from adverse action for acting as a representative for industrial associations like the NPAQ.
Miles Heffernan, spokesperson for Worker Law, said:
“We believe Queensland Health has treated Ms Gilbert unfairly, and further, we believe the state Government has contravened its own human rights laws.
“We will continue to fight for Ms Gilbert, and any other NPAQ member, or any other Queensland public service employee who has had their human rights violated.”
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