The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has begun short stop works in response to the federal government’s reluctance to negotiate a decent pay rise for public servants. The government’s offer was an insulting 4.15% pay rise over three years.
The government’s actions are an example designed to show big business how to treat their own workforces. Unable to introduce regressive new workplace laws they are demonstrating how cuts to wages and conditions can be made in other ways.
For example they have set their own bargaining framework rules that do not allow the backdating of pay rises. Pay increases also require trade-offs such as a reduction of conditions.
Public sector workers should not be expected to bear the brunt of the government’s budget problems. The CPSU should refuse to accept any trade-offs. They should demand nothing less than genuine pay rises that cover the increased costs of living.
If the government refuses to budge industrial action should be escalated and broadened. If the government gets its way big business will be emboldened and attempt to follow suit in the private sector. We can not allow that to happen.
By Gary Duffy