HSUWA Attends Public Pay Protest at Perth Town Hall

Friday 12 Nov 2021

As a part of a massed meeting of public sector union members at Perth Town Hall, UnionsWA, on behalf of the Public Sector Alliance has today released new figures that track the decline in real and comparative terms of public sector pay under the WA Government since 2017. Related staff shortages are impacting the quality of health, education and other services as well as unsafe workloads.

The HSUWA stood with Public Sector Alliance colleagues to demand a fair pay rise for Health Workers across the State.

Naomi McCrae Secretary HSUWA said:

“WA Health is much more than just Doctors and Nurses. Thousands of Medical Scientists, Allied Health and Administrators are needed to help care for patients and run the public health system too.

"For 4 long years, our Health Workers have borne the brunt of the State Government’s budget repair strategy.  Their contribution to this and incredible effort in responding to the stress and pressures in our health services must be recognised.

“The Budget is repaired, the State is in a stronger position than ever, it’s time for the State Government to deliver for the workers who have kept us safe and the public health system afloat.”

 

Owen Whittle, Secretary UnionsWA said:

“This huge gathering is evidence that if there is not a proper resolution to public sector pay, unions will continue to campaign and lead the public sector workforce in further action.

“Four or more years of the failed State Wage Policy has imposed on most of the public sector workforce pay that has gone backwards in real terms compared with costs of living and compared with others across the broader workforce.

“Over those 4 years since 2017 the WA Industrial Commission has granted minimum wage and award workers increases, cumulatively, of 11.8%.

“Again, over that same period, inflation has risen by 7%

“Yet for a public sector worker on a medium or typical wage in 2017 over those years, the State Wages Policy has provided only 4.6% wage increases.

“That’s backwards and backwards for those we rely on to keep us safe during the pandemic.

“As the largest employer in WA, capping wages at such low levels also affects the broader economy.

“For the lowest paid in the public sector workforce, rising costs for housing and other essentials leaves them behind.

“Wages are fixed by our employer - the government - in a way that no other working people have to endure.

“We’re seeing the impact of this failed wages policy with recruitment difficulties for needed roles in the public sector – that means poorer education for our school kids, less care for patients in our hospitals and increased workloads in other areas of essential public services such as child protection.

“The government has made the right first step by dumping the wages policy.

“The review of that policy is currently underway and being led by Minister Dawson.

“Public sector unions are calling for a minimum 4% per annum for the next two years or a flat $2,500, whichever is greater.

”A positive outcome now needs to be delivered.

“Unions cannot and will not rule out industrial action to secure pay rises.”

Further information

Decisions for the WA Minimum Wage and related Awards pay increases by the WA Industrial Relations Commission are presented below, including the cumulative percentage increases from 2017 to 2021.

For more information please see the Unions WA Media Release here

 

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