State Government Agrees to Devise a New Wages Policy

Friday 10 Sep 2021

In a significant win for HSUWA members the State Government has brought forward the review of the state wages policy for public sector workers.

 

This is a positive first step in the HSUWA’s push to secure a much-needed pay rise for members. Our commitment to work with other unions in the Public Sector Union Alliance has led to a welcome response.

 

The State Government said it would no longer continue with its plans for another two years of the $1,000 per annum cap on public sector wages. This ends the five year policy of a $1,000 cap.

 

Instead, the State Government says it will bring forward the review planned for 2023 and “will consult with key stakeholders over the next two months as part of the review with a final decision on a new wages policy by early 2022.”

 

HSUWA has been invited to meet with the State Government to undertake a consultation process over the next two months.

 

HSUWA Secretary Naomi McCrae said, “It is positive that the State Government has listened to Unions and we welcome the decision of the State Government to bring forward the review of the State Wages Policy. We look forward to the input from our members and progressing the needs of our vital WA health workers.

 

“Our WA health workers have consistently delivered quality patient care, research, security and administration during the pandemic. Now it will be up to the State Government to deliver a fair wages policy for them.

 

The HSUWA will continue to work with its members and the Public Sector Alliance to advocate for a pay increase for hard working West Australians.  We know how significant the flow on effects of this is to our members in the private sector and helping improve pay and conditions across the system."

 

As part of the Public Sector Union Alliance, the HSUWA and United Workers Union delivered a petition to State Parliament this week with close to 6,000 signatures from WA health workers, demanding the current state wages policy be reviewed to remove the low cap on pay increases.

 

The Health Budget

 

All health and mental health budget commitments were announced well in advance of the budget’s official release yesterday. This included the additional $1.9 billion into health services, which importantly will go some way to maintaining services and filling critical gaps, as well as improve some infrastructure.

 

This includes additional staffing commitments to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, a system in crisis, which were hard fought and won by HSWUA members.

 

However, there are no short cuts to the significant long-term investment needed to implement the 30 recommendations of the Sustainable Health Review Final Report 2019. Further delay in implementing the broad range of changes identified in the Final Report will only see us move further away from a sustainable health system and without the highly skilled workforce needed to run it.

 

Our initial observation is that there appears to be a disappointing allocation of money to advance key initiatives recommended under the Final Report, when there is simply no more time to waste, especially when it comes to planning for workforce needs.

 

 

Naomi McCrae

Secretary HSUWA

 

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