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Members strongly support delaying increases until July 2015

AT STATEWIDE meetings last week CPSU Members overwhelmingly supported a proposal to delay scheduled wage increases due to be paid before 1 July 2015 until 1 July 2015. Such a move will save the state exactly the same amount this financial year as would have been saved if the Legislative Council passed the Crown Employees (Salaries) Bill with the amendments the Treasurer offered. The government claimed at the time that if the Bill passed 500 jobs would be saved so there is no reason why the same 500 jobs won’t be saved with the proposal Members supported.

 

Last week other public sector unions also met with their members and it’s pleasing to report there’s support from all public sector workers for delaying any increases until July 2015. On Friday it was reported in the media that the Police Association offered to go further – delaying any increase in salary until after July 2016. It’s great that those who can afford to make a greater contribution do so but doesn’t change the generous contribution put forward by others.

 

For most CPSU Members an 18 month pay freeze would mean permanently forgoing 4% and with our current Agreement expiring in June 2016 there’d be no certainty of when the next salary increase would occur. The situation is different for Police as they have no current Agreement so they’re able to negotiate changes in progression or other conditions to compensate for deferring salary increases.

 

At the meetings we detailed the actions of the government that have meant we are considering delaying agreed salary increases. We explained our objectives in putting forward an alternative to the government’s proposal to sack 1200 public sector workers was to:

 

• Kill the Crown Employees (Salaries) Bill because if passed it would destroy our industrial relations system;

• Save the 500 additional jobs the government is threatening to slash;

• Show the Legislative Council and the wider community that industrial issues should always be resolved by negotiation not through the government using its legislative power; and

• Begin a genuine community discussion about the services Tasmanians expect, where and how those services should be delivered and therefore the right size for our public sector.

 

By the end of this week unions expect to be in a position to make application to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission to amend Awards and Agreements to delay the wage increases. The applications will also insert a new clause into each instrument that caps job losses across the public sector to those detailed in the 2014/15 budget thereby protecting the additional 500 jobs for this financial year. Further negotiations need to occur as part of the 2015/16 budget preparation to identify further savings to keep those jobs protected next financial year and in subsequent years.

 

We realise many Members were unable to attend the meetings last week but we’re still keen to hear your views. If you have questions, concerns or feedback now is the time to let us know.

 

Email us at cpsu@tas.cpsu.com.au  with your questions and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

 

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