Wage offer response critical to State Budget success

Released: Jul 14, 2015 7:22 AM

Today’s State Budget could hinge around how public sector workers respond to Queensland’s new industrial relations environment centred on job security, improved conditions and respect, Queensland unions say.

Unions are currently considering the Palaszczuk Labor government’s proposed wage increase of 2.5 per cent per annum for Queensland’s public sector workers.

Queensland Council of Unions President John Battams said the wage offer would be a critical component of today’s State Budget.

“This offer is higher than inflation, and needs to be considered within the context of Queensland’s new industrial relations environment in which conditions, job security, respect and dignity have returned,” said Mr Battams.

The wage offer was a positive move, Mr Battams said, but workers would decide on its acceptance.

“Unions are democratic organisations, and each union will need to take this offer to their members for endorsement. Some will do this quickly as their members haven’t received a pay rise for more than two years,” said Mr Battams.

“Whatever the result, it is great to see a government that is committed to working with unions and their members, not attacking their rights and conditions and not restricting the ability of unions to get fair outcomes for their members.

“This is light years ahead of the former government’s position which imposed many harsh and unnecessarily punitive demands on workers in the public sector.”

The wage offer from the Palaszczuk Government comes after the recent passage of the Industrial Relations (Restoring Fairness) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2015.

“These new laws restore valuable conditions for public sector workers such as employment security, discards the concept of non-allowable matters which removed many protections and conditions from the bargaining process, removes unfair statutory individual contracts, recognises the important role that unions play for their members, and restores the independence of the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission,” Mr Battams said.

“This wage offer, in the context of the restoration of these rights and conditions, represents a significant improvement for Queensland’s public sector workers.

“It goes a long way to recognising the invaluable work that Queensland’s public sector workers perform to serve this state.”

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