NSW Public Sector Workers Rally Over Pay And Inclusivity
“Coming for” the Premier
Around 30,000 public sector workers set off on a 24-hour strike on Wednesday in a politically charged call-to-arms after pay rise campaigns were met with an unsatisfactory offer.
Rallies were held in Sydney's Hyde Park and major towns across NSW from Bathurst to Dubbo, Grafton, Newcastle, Tamworth, and Wagga Wagga following the Public Service Association’s (PSA) demands of a 5.4 per cent pay increase, which was rejected earlier this week.
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Premier Dominic Perrottet announced on Sunday an increase of 0.5 per cent to the public service annual pay cap – from 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent this financial year, with the potential for an additional 0.5 per cent the following year.
Union members, including prison officers, park rangers, school support staff, Service NSW workers and civilian police employees have protested in rage over the whimsical offer.
PSA general secretary Stewart Little told thousands of cheering members the union was “coming for” the Premier.
“We sought change at the federal election … let me tell you Mr Perrottet, we have a very clear message … we are coming for you,” Mr Little told the rally outside NSW parliament.
“Because (if) you don’t stand up for public sector workers you should stand aside.”
“What we need to see from the government is action on wages … we will stand up for our members all the way from here right through to the election,” he told reporters earlier.
It follows the Premier's announcement on Monday of a $3000 "thank you" bonus to frontline healthcare workers, leaving some PSA members including prison officers and police off the list
However, Perrottet said on Wednesday the strikes were “largely … political” and that he "can't help that".
“But what I’m doing as Premier is making the responsible decisions weighing up the competing interests in the budget … They might not be politically popular. They might not be supported by the union bosses and the Labor Party,” he said.
Mr Little has refused to rule out further action.
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