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News Media Releases State MPs 4.3% salary increase shows Govt wages policy is completely inadequate
State MPs 4.3% salary increase shows Govt wages policy is completely inadequate
Tuesday, 09 August 2011 09:17

The Salary and Allowances Tribunal’s (SAT) decision to award WA Members of Parliament a 4.3% salary increase shows just how mean the State Government’s wages policy is, the state’s peak union body, UnionsWA said today.

This is the second year in a row that MPs are to receive a healthy 4.3% salary increase. The State Government continues to apply its stingy GFC-era wages policy to public sector workers whilst at the same time continuing to increase utility prices.

In their most recent EBA negotiations, education assistants and school gardeners were offered a mere 2.6% annual wage rise by the State Government. These workers eventually secured a slightly better outcome through the WA Industrial Relations Commission but at 11% and 8.75% respectively over three years the increase was nowhere near the 4.3% granted to MPs. The initial Government offer was also below inflation.

In the June minimum wage case the State Government argued for a tiny 2.75% increase for the State’s lowest paid workers.

UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk says the SAT’s decision demonstrates how unfair the State Government’s wages policy is. “The SAT has looked at the current economic environment in WA, taken note of WA’s ‘improved economic outlook’ and based its decision on these factors.  The State Government on the other hand continues to implement its wages policy that was developed as a result of the GFC. They also argued for a pathetic 2.75% increase to the state minimum wage all while continuing to raise utility prices for West Australians.”

“On top of this the State Government continues to pursue its privatisation agenda for the public sector. The reason privatisation is attractive is because it generally results in lower wages growth,  as companies cut staff and reduce wages and conditions in order to make a profit.”

“We don’t begrudge our parliamentarians a decent salary, we just wish the Barnett Government was prepared to ensure all WA workers received a fair wage.”

“WA unions call on the Barnett Government to abandon its unfair wages policy, to stop privatising our public services and to work to ensure all West Australians receive fair pay for a fair day’s work.

“In light of the second 4.3% salary increase in a year for politicians the government can clearly afford to be a little bit more generous.”

Simone McGurk is available for comment.
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For more information contact Madeleine Holme: 0417 060 360
Email: mholme@unionswa.com.au

 
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