UnionsWA has responded to the second backdown on State Wages Policy by the McGowan Government in less than a year.
Owen Whittle, Secretary, UnionsWA, said:
“The WA Government would not have improved its wages policy without public sector unions working as an alliance to force a change.
“This is now the third State Wages Policy in less than a year.
“The one-off payment of $2,500 and a 3% pay rise for this year will protect low and some lower paid public sector workers.
“However, with inflation running at 7.4% annually, this new policy continues the trend of below cost of living pay increases for the many of WA’s public sector workers.
“Public services respond to complex community needs and rely on staff with high levels of skills, qualifications, and experience such as teachers, police, prison officers, firefighters, child protection workers and health professionals, among others.
“Most of these crucial professionals, have been going backwards in their pay since the election of the McGowan Government in 2017.
“This policy will fail to adequately address the problems of attraction and retention in these critical areas of service to the West Australian public.
“The one-off $2,500 payment is welcome, but it doesn’t go into the base salary.
“Cost of living increases must be met day after day, week after week.
“Pay increases that count are increases to base pay.
“No one is predicting that inflation will go backwards.
“Unlike the backdown last December on wages policy, this time the McGowan Government has failed to consult unions on its new wages policy.
“Unions will take time to work with our members and delegates to respond more fully to the McGowan Governments changed policy.
“There’s been a missed opportunity to engage positively during this economic challenge to design a policy that meets the needs of the public sector workforce and public services.”