Tasmanian Government Tables Wage Freeze

Government Tables Wage Freeze, Kills Off Bargaining for Future Increases, Removes the Independence of the Industrial Umpire, Can Change Any Part of Our IR System Anytime

THE Crown Employees (Salaries) Bill 2014 (here) was tabled yesterday morning - and it’s nasty.

It will mean the government can:

• Freeze agreed wage increases in all Awards and Agreements regulating employment by the Crown for 12 months from various dates

• Replace agreed wage increases with yet to be determined increases

• Amend the Industrial Relations Act 1984 so the Tasmanian Industrial Commission can only make orders in accordance with the government’s wage policy in effect at that time

• Make Regulations that can over-ride any part of the Industrial Relations Act 1984 in any manner

We knew it would be an outrageous attack but it’s even worse than expected, and we had no idea about the fourth point as it wasn’t even talked about before the Bill was tabled yesterday. 

This Bill will break your contracts, leave any future wage increases solely in the hands of the employer and will mean the industrial rules we’re all meant to abide by can be changed by the government whenever it likes without anything having to go back to Parliament. 

FOR EXAMPLE: Government sets its wage policy through Regulation at -7.5% then makes application to the Commission for an arbitration of wage rates in all public sector Awards and Agreements. Your CPSU argues hard as always to defend your wages but the amended Act means the Commission can only agree with the employer – the government - and so must reduce all wage rates by 7.5%.

If the underlying principles of this Bill were applied to criminal law it’d mean that if you were charged with a crime you didn’t commit the independent judiciary could only make a ruling that agrees with the prosecution, so although innocent you’d be found guilty – Even a child can see that would be a bad law.    

The Crown Employees (Salaries) Bill 2014 is a bad law.

It’s a stalking horse for other state governments to undermine workers’ rights and slash wages.


Extra information and materials:

Treasurer’s Second Reading Speech to the House of Assembly here.

Clause Notes to the Bill here.

Fact Sheet on the Bill here.


Agency Savings – The Big Picture

THE TASMANIAN Budget was polished up to be as shiny as possible by last Thursday, but we all know there are some unsavoury things you can’t polish, and this one strips three quarters of a billion dollars from services all Tasmanians need and our Members deliver.

Click here to check out the government’s agency breakdown of ‘Budget Savings Strategies’.  Since when did one-line dot points equal ‘strategies’? Find the budget papers here.

The most telling part of a budget is what happens next – how a list of numbers converts into job losses, service cuts and work overload. There is an obligation on the employer to consult employees and their unions around major change but we doubt that’ll happen, so that’s where we need you! 

CPSU Delegates and Members have a right to keep their union informed of developments in their workplace, and we urge you to provide up to date information to your CPSU Organiser or union office on (03)6234 1708 or [email protected]

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  • all working people are organised, safe, and winning at work

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