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More payroll trauma for Queensland nurses

Health pay debacle continues to cause problems as thousands of nurses asked to repay overpayments.

Queensland Health is again under fire over the bungled introduction of its payroll system, with nurses asked to prove they don't owe their employer any money.

The state government has spent $90 million fixing the system, which left thousands of workers overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all.

But the saga is not over yet.

Affected nurses have been sent letters asking them to look at their pay records and determine if they owe Queensland Health any money.

Opposition health spokesman Mark McArdle says an already sensitive issue is now completely out of hand.

"In the light of what happened in the last 15 months, now forwarding out these letters is traumatic for many people and their families," he told ABC Radio.

Health Minister Geoff Wilson must clarify what documents should be used to establish a debt to Queensland Health, how debts would be negotiated, if mediation would be offered, and who would pay for it, McArdle said.

"The language in the letter is very poor," he said.

"Anybody claiming money is owed to them has a legal obligation to establish that claim.

"It's not up to the person that money is being sought from."

Queensland Nurses Union secretary Beth Mohle said it was unfortunate workers needed to scour their records but there was no other way.

"We are strongly urging our members to check what Queensland Health is claiming," she said.

"They're going to have to because I wouldn't trust them with the system the way that it is, given that it was so unstable."

She said staff should be allowed to make those checks on work time.

Mohle said union members had been urged to record their work hours since last year to match with what they'd been paid.

"They could have been underpaid as well," she said.

"And Queensland Health has given a commitment that they'll correct the underpayments before they recover overpayments."


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