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2016: Bargaining for fair Public Sector Wages looking strong

IN PARLIAMENT this week the State Government introduced a Bill to have MPs wages determined by the Tasmanian Industrial Commission – a right it tried to remove from its own employees last year.
If this legislation passes, the base salary for MPs will go from $118, 466 per annum to $120,835 from July 2015.
Then from 1 July 2016, increases for MPs would be decided annually by the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.
Given that in 2013 the TIC recommended an increase of salaries to more than $128,000 by January 2015, it’s reasonable to expect the increase the Commission will determine from July 2016 will be significant.
Nobody will be surprised that Premier Will Hodgman and his government place greater value on their own wage increase than they do on increases of public sector workers who are providing vital services to our communities.
The good news from this week is that, according to the Government, the heavy lifting in regard to savings has been done and it seems there is hay back in the barn again.
In his second reading speech yesterday, the Premier said that while “the parlous Budget situation that we inherited in 2014 did not allow us to accept the 2013 tribunal’s recommendations … However it is now time to move forward”.
The CPSU assumes from this that if it’s time to move forward on politicians’ salaries, it’s also time to move forward on public sector worker salaries.
In light of this we look forward to bargaining with the Government again in 2016.
On budget day Premier Will Hodgman said: “it has long been our view that longer-term, the salary, allowances and other remuneration for Members of Parliament should be decided at arm’s length, independent of politicians”. 
What is good for the goose is good for the gander, if politicians are to have their pay set by the Tasmanian Industrial Commission, perhaps public sector workers should look at using the same mechanism. If the government believes remuneration should be decided at arm’s length, independent of politicians, then it should also accept the independent decision and not appeal decisions for its workers.

 
 

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