Public Sector Agreement Update
Friday 12 Jun 2020
Negotiations with the Department of Health have stalled and we appear to have entered a period of ‘radio silence’ from the Department and Government.
The lack of communication from the Department is not uncommon immediately before an offer is made. However, in this instance there remains a number of items where we had not reached a common understanding.
We are confident of real improvements but HSUWA is still pressing for a number of claims to be included or better worded. The response in recent weeks has not been forthcoming.
This means it is likely that when we do get an offer, it is going to include some surprises. We will need to consider the offer as a whole. We will also need to think about both the scope and likely effect of any further negotiation or action in support of the claims.
Clearly the context of the impact of the pandemic on the economy, jobs and wages is significant. The impacts are still bearing out week to week. The State Treasurer has said WA is ‘sliding into recession’ while the Federal Treasurer says we already are in recession. Over East, Queensland and the Commonwealth have been joined by NSW in either freezing wages or attempting to, a return to austerity which is both poor economics and unfair.
It is also becoming clearer that Government is attempting to factor in the impact our agreement may have on the other public sector agreements that will follow this year. This state government is feeling increasingly safe of a re-election in March next year.
We reasonably expect to have an offer shortly which we will publish, and which will then be considered by the Union’s Committee of Management and Workplace Representatives. As is usual practice we will ballot members on any offer we receive and make recommendations based on our assessment of the offer and the options available to us.