Why unions are furious with NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet
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Why unions are furious with NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet

Union representatives announced Monday an increase in public service wages and a $3,000 bonus for health workers.

The increase is much less than Australia’s 5.1 percent inflation rate, effectively resulting in a “wage cut,” unions say.

Why unions are furious with NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet

NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet revealed that the upcoming budget would include an increase in the wage cap for all public sector workers from 2.5 percent to 3 percent this year and a potential 3.5 percent next fiscal year.

“From the perspective of the top union body in NSW, anything below inflation is not good enough because that’s a pay cut, and we won’t tolerate a pay cut,” said Thomas Costa, assistant secretary of NSW unions.

The NSW government will also invest $4.5 billion over the next four years to hire additional health workers after reports of dangerous staff shortages in some areas.

Public Service Association (PSA) general secretary Stewart Little said the decision to prioritize health professionals with the announcement was a “political” decision.

Angelo Gavrielatos, the Camera IconNSW Teachers Federation president, said wage increases should “at least” keep pace with inflation. NCA NewsWire/Seb Haggett Credit: NCA NewsWire

He said it insulted other frontline workers who responded to fires and floods and worked tirelessly during the pandemic.

“I think the Prime Minister thought he was going to win favor with the general population by saying he supports health workers – like everyone else here,” said Mr. Little.

“Our members here today… have been ignored in today’s announcement. It insults them and many other frontline workers who have done the heavy lifting during the pandemic.”

Mr. Little said a decision would be made later on whether a planned strike by PSA members for Wednesday, June 8, would go ahead in the wake of the government’s announcement.

Last month, thousands of teachers participated in industrial action to protest significant staff shortages, unmanageable workloads, and lack of pay.

The chairman of the NSW Teachers Federation, Angelo Gavrielatos, said Monday’s announcement did nothing to address shortages in teaching and inequalities with other diploma professions.

“Today’s announcement by the Perrottet administration makes matters worse,” he said.

Camera Icon Health and education workers held strikes annually to address staff shortages and pay increases in the public sector. NCA NewsWire/Jeremy Piper Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr. Gavrielatos said teacher shortages had a major impact on the quality of education in public schools in NSW.

“Every day, hundreds of classes are interrupted by the teacher shortage. They are denied not only their education but also their future,” he said.

Mr. Costa agreed that the changes were a “slap in the face” for many NSW public sector workers.

“NSW fully supports public sector unions in their fight to beat this cap to ensure workers get a decent income so we can retain the workers we need to ensure the delivery of the services we all need.” on trust,” he said. †