Wage negotiations must remain in good faith

Peter Gutwein,Treasurer

The Tasmanian Government remains committed to ensuring our public servants receive a pay increase that is fair and affordable.

As a sign of the Government’s willingness to negotiate in good faith we have indicated our willingness to revise our wages policy, where we can agree to appropriate offsets to pay for increased wage offers above the Governments wage policy of 2 per cent.

Our proposed revised wages policy which includes wage rises up to 2.5 per cent per annum over the term of the agreement also includes the most significant changes in terms and conditions in over a decade.

Importantly, workload concerns are addressed through lower classroom contact hours for teachers and improved support and rostering arrangements for nurses.

It is highly disappointing that despite putting forward these revised proposals in good faith, unions have escalated industrial action and are threatening to disrupt surgeries, health services and other essential services.

The unions’ behaviour is not fair on the public, or our hard working public servants, so the Premier and I will be seeking a meeting with unions next week to discuss this matter further.

We have consistently been clear that we want to continue to negotiate in good faith and have urged the union to de-escalate their threats.

In contacting the unions today we will be requesting that they pause any industrial action and come back to the table.

The Government is not interested in playing the political games that unions want to engage in on the eve of the federal election campaign.

I again invite union leaders to work with us to reach an agreement that is fair and most importantly affordable, so we can get on with delivering the services Tasmanians need and deserve.

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