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CPSU Tasmania supports Victorian Royal Botanic Gardens industrial action

IN MELBOURNE Arborists, rangers, scientists and tour guides have voted to take action to push for better pay.

It comes as the Royal Botanic Gardens recently slashed its offer of a pay increase to the overall workforce by 1.15% to offset the request from weekend workers for 25% loading.

This deal impacts 250 staff.

Workers and their union, the CPSU, are understandably unhappy.

Horticulturalist Mal Jackson said the gardens had made an offer to pay penalty rates, but to finance that they took money away from the offer for the rest of the staff, which won’t even keep up with the cost of living.

The Royal Botanic Gardens approached Treasury for help but was told it needed to negotiate “within the boundaries of the Victorian government wages policy”, which is for annual pay rises of 2.5 per cent a year, with anything above that to be traded for productivity offsets.

CPSU state secretary Karen Batt said gardens staff were being “caught by a hard-line anti-weekend penalty agenda”.

Ms Batt said the government was happy to accept international accolades for the gardens, which were recognised with the Landscape of the Year award at the World Architecture Festival last October, but wouldn’t fairly pay the very people who made these possible.

The CPSU Tasmania wrote to its Victorian colleagues offering support.

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