Friday 23 February 2024

Contact 1800 772 679

Contact 1800 772 679

The magazine of the Public Service Association of NSW and the Community and Public Sector Union (NSW Branch)

A Fresh Start: Now Is Time For Real Change

A Fresh Start: Now Is Time For Real Change

After 12 long years, finally some respect.

The Labor Party, led by Chris Minns, is now in power in NSW, albeit with the support of a record- sized crossbench.

A change in government gives our union a chance to pressure Macquarie Street to pass laws that will make our members’ working lives that much better.

No more sell-offs

No-one was convinced by the last-minute pledge from former Premier Dominic Perrottet that privatisation was off the agenda. Not only was a similar promise at the 2019 election ditched almost immediately, but footage soon revealed candidates happily holding up placards supporting the sell-off of our water assets. Other candidates still churned out tired lines about “asset recycling”.

Privatisation is in the DNA of the Liberals; the party of the big end of town. The Nationals won’t stand up to the bigger Coalition party over this issue, even though privatisation’s effects are even more brutal on regional NSW.

The new Premier has given a commitment that the sell-off agenda is dead and buried. The PSA CPSU NSW is determined to ensure this commitment is honoured.

No more wage caps

Your union enthusiastically supported the Labor Party’s campaign to strip away the wage cap. At the time of press, we had received an offer of a 4.5 per cent increase. This includes a mandated 0.5 per cent superannuation increase.

It would appear, then, that the cap is gone. Since the election of the Coalition in 2011, the nonsensical limit to our members’ wages has artificially deflated Public Sector salaries, regardless of productivity gains or inflation. In recent years, as prices in the post-lockdown economy skyrocketed, the wage cap went from economically illogical to downright cruel. This burden on our members’ livelihoods certainly won’t be missed.

The Industrial Relations Commission, which has been sidelined by the previous state government, should be returned as an independent body that will determine our wages and conditions, rather than being used as a populist football for the governing party.

No more insecure work

For for years on end, too many of our members have been stuck in non- permanent, insecure roles, never sure if they would be employed the following year and never able to take out loans or access financial products.

The PSA has fought long and hard against this, getting commitments from both the Labor Party and Coalition to release members in schools from this employment purgatory. We are now in talks with the Department of Education and the Education Minister to hurry this process along and get members into secure positions.

But this does not end with the state’s schools. Too many workplaces covered by the PSA CPSU NSW are still have too many employees in insecure roles.

This needs to change, and your union will fight hard to make sure it does.

The PSA CPSU NSW is optimistic the next four years under the Minns Labor Government will be better than the previous 12 under a state government that refused to respect the Public Sector.

But rest assured, the union representing the Public Sector workers, who do so much for this state, will not drop its guard. Any hint that privatisation comes back on the agenda, or the wage cap is resurrected, or the roll-out of secure roles is delayed, and we will be fighting.

No matter who is on the Treasury benches in Macquarie Street, the PSA will be fighting for a better deal for all our members.

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