CPSU members painted the public sector red. From National Parks to Radiology – public sector workers wore red because Tasmania needs a pay rise. We even had CPSU members wearing red in Fiji to support the campaign!
We saw both morning and afternoon teas around the public service plus many other workplace actions. From fine china to cocktail savs, we received plenty of photos from workplaces around the state.
A strong contingent turned out to Question Time. Premier Will Hodgman and his ministers knew we were there and they didn’t like it one bit. We saw Treasurer Peter Gutwein double down on his rhetoric about keeping the 2% wages cap both in the media and during Question Time in front of CPSU Members in the public gallery. Premier Will Hodgman – the decision maker – didn’t have much to say on the matter though.
Here’s some of what Treasurer Gutwein said during Question Time:
“From the outset I put on the record my appreciation for the hardworking professional and dedicated public sector in Tasmania. Overall the State Government employs 30 000 people.”
“The Government’s view is that our public servants deserve to be paid well and we do pay them very well, especially in comparison to the private sector. In Tasmania the average wage in the private sector is around $70 000. However, the average wage of public servants is around $110 000 – $40 000 more than the average wage of most other Tasmanians. In the main our public servants do fantastic work and we firmly believe that our hardworking public servants deserve a pay rise. That is why we factored into the upcoming budget pay increases of 2 per cent each and every year.”
“What is often overlooked is that the vast majority of public servants receive additional pay rises as well after every 12 months of continuous service. The longer they stay in the public sector the further they progress through the pay scales and the more they earn. This means that most public servants are getting pay rises between 3 per cent and 5 percent already, which is well above the rate of inflation and very competitive with other states and territories around the country.”
We know this is incorrect, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, latest figures show Tasmanian public servants earn an average wage of $74,000.
Find more of the Hansard transcript here.
We know that there was also much debate about the wage cap during the House of Assembly sitting on getREDy Day. And that’s what we wanted.
At lunchtime for the delivery of the Statement of Intent, we saw another strong member turnout, all wearing our Tassie Needs a Pay Rise red t-shirts. The Hodgman government didn’t show up but we delivered the statement of intent to the other two political parties.
Delegate Tania Shilcock spoke at the delivery of the Statement of Intent:
“I’m very proud to work for the Department of State Growth. I work very hard to keep passenger transport services safe for all Tasmanians. It’s an important job and I’m proud to do that. I would like to say that I’m one of the 80% of public sector workers who don’t earn $110 thousand dollars a year, I earn less than that.
“We’re here to ask the government to scrap the cap on wages. We’re here to ask the government for a reasonable pay increase of 3%, and we’re here to ask the government to bargain with us in good faith.”
It was hard to keep up with all the photos sent to us from Members on the day! You can find these on our Facebook page. You were REDy and we can definitively say you painted the public sector red.