Public service

Wage increase in the public service | Tasmanian Green MPs

MRS O’CONNOR question to FIRST, MR ROCKLIFF

You need to be aware of the enormous unsustainable pressure that public sector workers face every day in bodies such as health, education and child safety. You know, positions go unfilled for months, requests for stress-related leave are increasing, and we are losing some of our most talented and dedicated workers to better, better-paying jobs in mainland states and overseas. . With the cost of living and housing soaring, Tasmania is also losing its competitive edge in attracting highway officials.

At lunchtime today, the Community and Public Sector Union presented a coherent and sensible plan to better support, attract and retain the public sector workers Tasmanians need now and in the future.

Mr. Prime Minister, we have heard that the CPSU and its members only encounter brick walls when proposing solutions and asking to speak. Why don’t you sit down with union representatives of public sector workers to better support and strengthen the service of the state?

ANSWER

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Clark for her question. I will start by thanking all of our very hardworking Public Service across all departments for the work they have undertaken on behalf of all Tasmanians, especially during the difficult times we have experienced in recent years with the pandemic. I recognize and admire the enormous efforts they have made to keep Tasmanians safe.

We are very aware as government that we support our public service, especially on the frontline, to continue to support Tasmanians. We have employed more teachers in our schools than any previous government; in terms of front-line health, more nurses, more front-line health personnel than ever before. We support our public service by investing in our public service and in more people.

As I have said many times, we are committed to bargaining in good faith with all unions in the next round of bargaining to deliver real wage increases to our workforce. We recognize the need for wage increases and we recognize the cost of living pressures, as I have said before today. We recognize the recruitment and retention challenges faced by certain sectors of our workforce. There will be salary increases resulting from this bargaining period. Of course pay rises must be reasonable, affordable and sustainable for our state, as you will no doubt appreciate, so that we can continue to invest in essential frontline services, so that we can continue to support Tasmanians in affordable housing.

These are all areas our government is focusing on. One is to negotiate in good faith with our hard-working public sector.