Michael Ferguson’s 2022/23 State Budget signals that the Government will attempt to force a 3.5% real wage cut on Tasmania’s 30,000 public sector workers, offering just 2.5% against 6% inflation.
It’s another kick in the guts for workers, and more evidence that our industrial system is failing to deliver fair outcomes for working people. It coincides with the latest National Accounts figures – which show that productivity and profits have continued to rise while wages have gone backwards.
The ABS data shows productivity has grown by 2.8% in the year to March, almost triple the average increases of 1% over the past decade. As a direct result of this boost to productivity and low wage growth, business profits doubled from last year to 21.6%. This means the labour share of national income fell to the lowest level on record, just 45.1%.
This data shows that a decade of LNP governments have changed the rules so that no matter what workers do, their share of profit falls. Across Australia workers are desperate for significant increases in wages to compensate them for skyrocketing cost of living, but the system is working against them.
We’re calling on Premier Rockliff to recognize and value public sector workers by safeguarding your living standards in this year’s Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement.
Workers deserve more than just thanks – just this week NSW Liberal Premier Dominic Perrotet increased his wage offer to between 3% and 3.5%, and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr is conducting an inquiry into the feasibility of a four-day work week for the public sector.
Public sector austerity is an insult to the heroic efforts of public sector workers to carry our state through COVID-19 lockdowns – acknowledged by outgoing Premier Peter Gutwein. It also risks missing a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Tasmania to address our recruitment and retention crisis by becoming more attractive for workers. With 25% of public sector Speech Pathology positions sitting vacant because workers are getting offers elsewhere, that should give pause for thought.
It’s up to us to build the momentum to secure fair wage increases. Get talking with your colleagues – and encourage them to take the next step of supporting their colleagues and building our collective strength by joining the CPSU. It’s easier than ever to join online and costs nothing up front: https://www.cpsu.com.au/join/
You can also Click Here to download a poster to put up in your workplace and spread the word!