All the latest news and views from the CPSU team
Friday Wrap: our week in review
There was a strong turnout from union members and concerned Tasmanians.
Those at the meeting resolved to demand:
- The continuation of bulk billing for critical diagnostic tests & pathology services.
- An end to the Medicare Rebate Freeze – a GP tax by stealth.
- Medicare remain in public hands – no to privatisation of our public health system.
- The restoration of $1.5 billion in funding ripped out of Tasmania’s public hospitals.
- No increase in the cost of prescription medicines.
See photos and videos on our Facebook page here.
What you can do now:
- Sign the petition
- Post photos / selfies with signs from the rally to social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the #SaveMedicare
- Talk to your friends, family and work colleagues about the issue and get them to pledge to vote to Save Medicare & Protect Public Health.
Save our Weekend: two week Honk-a-Thon blitz
FOR THE next two weeks we’re going to be all over Hobart campaigning to Save our Weekend & protect weekend rates. You’re invited: join members and staff from the CPSU and other unions and help wobble board passing motorists at our Honk-a-Thons, so come and join in the fun and help us win the fight to keep our weekends.
So far we’ve had a great response from passing motorists! Click here to see the dates and times. Let us know if you’re coming – email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know which Honk-a-Thon you’d like to attend.
Wages This week the Premier let it slip that 2% was the “upper limit” of what he’s offering public sector staff. Meanwhile MPs are set to see a 10.5% increase in their pay this July. That’s what they decided they were worth. Earlier this week the Fair Work Commission decided that employees on the minimum wage were worth at 2.4% pay rise.
But Premier Hodgman believes that you are only worth a 0.9% pay rise. Every day public sector staff like you are under the pump delivering services Tasmanians need, often under the strain of high workloads and inadequate staffing and resources. Jobs have been cut from the public sector with more cuts still to come, according to Moody’s.
Cuts hurt the services we deliver and the Premier should respect and reward Public Sector staff, who’ve worked tirelessly to minimise the impact of cuts on our community, with a fair wage increase not the threat of more job cuts.
TMAG backflip This budget the Hodgman Government decided that the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery should now reopen again on Mondays, reversing the decision made in 2014, which was made without talking to staff or stakeholders. The decision reduced Tasmanian and visitor access to our cultural heritage. However, under the recent announcement, the museum and gallery will only open during the peak tourist season, not every Monday.
When the decision was announced two years ago we said: “Despite spending tens of millions of dollars on making TMAG a fantastic showcase of our cultural and physical history, and despite MONA helping put Tasmania on the global map as a cultural and artistic destination, the government plans to limit access to visitors from around the world and to Tasmanians. It’s another ridiculous move but one likely to be repeated across the service as the government blindly cuts into services Tasmanians deserve.”
Now it seems that Premier Hodgman has seen (partial) sense, after the move was widely criticised by the tourism industry.
Smoke and mirrors If you look at the detail in the budget papers, it looks like there’s some creative accounting at play. One example of this is the “Grassroots Australian Rules Football”, which, when you flick through the pages, is clearly the extension of the North Melbourne football club deal that’s under negotiation, with $2m allocated this budget ($0.5m over the forward estimates).
Political manoeuvring costly Meanwhile, the decision to move MRT to the North-West has cost more than the Hodgman government predicted (as Members suggested it would), with a further $2.6 million allocated this budget. This week the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that spending on mineral exploration was the weakest since 2005 in December 2015 and the second weakest in March this year. The money for the move could be better spent on the good work MRT does to help our state grow.