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All injured South Australian workers deserve the protections won by police

February 15, 2016

SA Unions says the State Government must now move to extend the protection won by injured police officers to all workers in South Australia.

Secretary Joe Szakacs, (pron: sock-arch) said the union movement always believed the two year cut off period was a blunt instrument, and that the reduction of entitlements in the new Return to Work Act had gone too far and too deep.

"What we want to see now is this provision extended to all workers because each industry has its own unique risks."

"We are pleased to see our colleagues in SAPOL achieve these improvements through enterprise bargaining, and the commitment from the Labor Government to reach the same outcomes with other public sector workers."

"However, it's not just police who face higher risks on the job, but nurses, ambulance officers and firefighters do, too."

"The idea that only public sector workers face these risks is unfair and unjust - in fact workers in the private sector suffer that same tragedy and disruption from workplace injuries, while working in the most dangerous industries in our country."

"We believe emergency service workers deserve the same protection as those workers building the new RAH, or an orderly or security guard working in our hospitals."

"Or a transport worker pushed to their limits by the big supermarkets, a worker at a drive-through bottle shop or petrol station who faces the constant threat of an armed robbery, or people in social and community services that often work with clients with sever additions and violent behaviour."

"We know that people in construction, transport, agriculture and aged care have the highest rates of physical injuries, including dozens of workplace deaths per year."

Mr Szakacs said that in acknowledging this outcome for police officers, the State Government must act without delay in recognising the devastation that these types of workplace injuries case workers and their families, and amend the Return to Work Act for the benefit of all South Australian working people.