The union representing public sector workers, CPSU, has condemned today’s comments from Minister Matthias Cormann which seek to shift the blame for record low wage growth away from the government. Cormann has once again denied there is a problem with wages, despite the evidence that sluggish wage growth is harming our economy and recent reports that a public sector wage rise could kick-start flagging growth.
CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said, “The Minister is right only when he says our members voted against the sub-standard deals offered by his government, he just fails to mention that it was because they were going to lose existing conditions that made their lives work. He fails to mention the Government policy required stripping out existing rights in enterprise agreements while banning any improvements. Our members weren’t prepared to sell off their conditions, and they should never have been asked to do so in the first place. They asked us to campaign for a no vote- so we did.
“Border Force workers who now get less dollars in their pay packet than they did in 2013 aren’t having their wages held back by their union: this government fought for over four years, and spend over two million dollars in court, to cut their existing pay and conditions.
“This same government cuts staff in Centrelink so pensioners wait for months for their pensions. The ATO is so understaffed it can’t answer people calling for help on their tax returns. Every agency is struggling with a staffing cap that means not enough people are employed in our public service.
“We need to have an honest conversation about our economy and the role this government plays. Good, secure, well-paying jobs in the public service are a way to boost our whole economy. A good government would be proud to offer secure jobs that pay well and use that policy lever to boost our whole economy. Instead, we see Ministers lashing out at workers who just want a fair payrise to pay their bills.”