All the latest news and views from the CPSU team

We need to Scrap the Cap

LATE last year we heard from Members across the state at Scrap the Cap meetings. 


We heard that you want wages to be front and centre this bargaining round.
We heard that you wanted a fair wage increase.
We heard that you want a say on your Agreement rather than accept a predetermined outcome.

Pay packets need to keep up with the cost of living. ABS data shows that from September 2016 to September 2017 CPI rose on:

Insurance and financial services –by 1.8%
Education – by 3.1%
Transport – by 2.7% 
Health – by 3.9% 
Housing – by 3.3% 
All groups – by 1.8% 

The cost of living is going up – that’s why we need to scrap the 2% pay cap, so you don’t fall behind. Public sector wages set the bar for the private sector. So the wage increases we accept are often the increases other Tasmanian workers will be offered.

This month the McKell Institute report Mapping Opportunity: A National Index on Wages and Income found that real wage growth is facing stagnation and the opportunities for earnings are gradually diminishing.

Meanwhile this week the Sydney Morning Herald reported that tens of thousands of workers would struggle to keep up with the cost of living after signing agreements for wage rises that are set to fall below inflation in the next two years:

“The government has predicted that inflation will rise from 1.9 per cent to 2.25 per cent by next year, which could leave some workers with a pay cut in real terms,” Economics reporter Eryk Bagshaw reported.

You also deserve a seat at the bargaining table – there’s no seat if the Premier won’t negotiate in good faith, with an outcome already decided.

On Monday The Australian reported that Opposition Leader  Rebecca White “… had vowed to scrap the 2 per cent cap on public service wages but said unions would have to accept a root-and-branch review of government, to find efficiencies.”

However, in response Treasurer Peter Gutwein said that: 

“… every one percent increase is an additional $25 million per year. This could only mean cuts to health, cuts to education, and cuts to police numbers. A large number of public sector wage agreements expire next financial year, meaning this is more than just a moot point – the budget after the election will be materially affected almost immediately by Government wage decisions.”

Sign the Scrap the Cap petition here.

PS – this week Prime Minister Turnbull used a special power to give raises to 30 staffers, which were an average of $28k each. On this, Australian Unions President Ged Kearney said: “The Prime Minister’s top executives are getting this special treatment but the government has imposed pay freezes and real wage cuts on average public sector workers. Under the Turnbull Government, work is getting more insecure, wages are stagnating and we’re in a housing affordability crisis, all while big business profits go up.” 

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