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)

Wages Must Keep Up With The Cost Of Living

Wages Must Keep Up With The Cost Of Living <br>

A 2.5 per cent pay rise is
actually a pay cut.

In February the Association submitted a letter to the Premier demanding an end to the wages cap that has artificially depressed many of our members’ wages for more than a decade.

In addition, we will be seeking payment of superannuation on the unpaid portion of the first 12 months of parental leave for our members.

The wages cap must go. It was a bad idea in 2011, when it was introduced by the O’Farrell Government. As inflation reemerges as an issue, artificially suppressing wages is an even worse idea.

Inflation is currently running, we are told, at 3.5 per cent. Factor in fuel price rises thanks to the invasion of Ukraine and eye-watering house prices all over the state and you soon realise a 2.5 per cent annual boost to pay is actually a decrease to our members’ purchasing power, particularly when you take into account the miserly 0.3 per cent increase grudgingly handed to members in 2020-21.

The Public Sector workers who carried NSW through two years of consecutive disasters deserve better. As you can read in the page opposite, they have once again been front-page news as floods swamp NSW. Our members are still on the frontline facing COVID-19 in our health, justice and education systems.

They do not deserve to go backwards.

Not only are our members let down by sluggish wage growth, but the economies they participate in are also hit hard. When our wages go down, so does our purchasing power. Suddenly local businesses will feel the pinch as workers’ wallets stay shut.

For years the State Government has forged its brand on restraint, particularly regarding Public Sector wages. However, if it can adapt to the unusual times we live in and open the purse strings for disaster relief and health expenditure, it can do the same with wages.

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