Thousands Public sector unionists today rallied to protest the WA State Wages Policy plans that has most go backwards in real terms for the next few years, after five years of below inflation increases. The risks for attracting and retaining skilled, experienced or qualified staff for essential services for the WA public were highlighted during addresses to the rally.
Owen Whittle, Secretary, UnionsWA, said:
“Firefighters, police, prison officers, child protection, health, school and other public sector workers turned out today to protest a wages policy that is both unfair and plain insulting.
“Unfair because this latest change in policy comes off five years of fixed, below-inflation wage increases that resulted in most in the public sector going backwards in real terms.
“Unfair because while pay was going backward, the WA public relied on those same working people to keep us all safe through the pandemic.
“Insulting because we still have a policy that fails to attract and retain essential service staff with needed skills, experience or qualifications.
“Our WA public service workforce is asking of its employer, not the imposition of policy without consultation, but genuine negotiation over pay and conditions.
“Public services need a wide range of skills, experience and qualifications.
“Public sector workplaces are diverse, some rely on taking high personal risks, some on technology, some on directly facing and supporting the most vulnerable in our community, other tasks require a careful eye for detail and the highest standards of integrity.
“A lazy, one-policy-fits-all wages policy that is imposed from above is not in the public interest.”