Cost of Living Top Issue in State Growth Site Visits

Recently Department of State Growth Delegates talked to their colleagues about the Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement.  

The Double our Power Day helps build Delegates confidence in having union conversations, whilst also having meaningful chats with their fellow employees about issues that matter to them.  

With Public Sector bargaining underway, this was the main thrust of conversations on the ground at Parliament Square. Delegates Arden McKay, Simon Lynch, Tania Shilcock and Brett Malone joined Organisers Blair Dowker, Mathew Woolhouse and Trina Meurant in a day honing their campaigning skills and chatting on the ground in the workplace. 

CPSU Organiser Blair Dowker said workplace conversations really highlighted that pay rises needed to recognise living pressures.  

“Workers told us that they were really feeling the pinch. We were hearing stories about people paying up to $2-300 more on groceries a fortnight compared to this time last year. 

Our members with secure work are struggling week to week.  Almost everyone is living week to week now. No one is finding it easy. So pay was the main issue – wages need to offset the higher cost of living. 

In our discussions with members they recalled the Scrap the Cap campaign and were committed and optimistic about what they could achieve together in this bargaining period.”   

Another hot topic was working from home. 

“Walking around with Delegates, we found in our conversations that there was a 50-50 split in members capacity to work from home. It mostly came down to who the employee’s manager was. Everyone we spoke to was of the same opinion – having rights legislated under the Agreement would make this a fair playing field.”  

State Growth Delegate Arden McKay: “I found the day really useful. As a relatively new Delegate, I really appreciate a bit of guidance with having those conversations.  

Pay was the biggest issue, some people are really under the pump. There were also some casuals we spoke with who’d really like permanent positions.”   

State Growth Delegate Simon Lynch: “The general feeling was the cost of living was putting pressure on most people – that was the most recurring theme. We found there was good support for the CPSU claim. 

As a Delegate the day was empowering. Most people were receptive when we talked to them because we are an employee, it helps to bring their guard down, especially for those workers who weren’t members.” 

Read more about our 100 Claims for a Better State Service at https://www.cpsu.com.au/psuwa/ 

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