BREAKING: The Government's controversial pay freeze (pay cut) for public servants has been blocked after The Greens, opposition and cross bench blocked it in the NSW Upper House.
The pay freeze would have seen an effective cut to the incomes of teachers, nurses and other frontline workers, during one of the busiest and most dangerous and difficult years for these professions.
Living through a pandemic has been a challenge for everyone - and it is the work of our frontline workers and those who are the heart and soul of our public institutions who have been going above and beyond to help us through.
Our nurses and health professionals have put their own lives on the line to care for those with COVID-19 showing exceptional compassion, bravery and selflessness. Our teachers spent their entire holidays busting their guts to get all their materials online, scrambled to provide laptops to students who didn’t have them at home, and only found out through a media announcement that schools would be returning to full time face-to-face teaching with just less than a weeks warning. All of the support staff in our schools and hospitals have kept them clean, functioning and ticking over throughout this crisis.
They all put themselves at risk in the interests of the public good.
Others working in the public service in our youth justice facilities, national parks, Service NSW branches, emergency services kept going to work because working from home was simply not an option. All of these workers are essential to keeping NSW functioning.
And for this extraordinary effort, what are these workers getting as thanks if the NSW Liberal Government gets their way? A pay cut.
This is nothing short of outrageous. Talk about a slap in the face, when people should be getting a pat on the back.
To make matters worse, just before this pay cut for our public service was announced, the Government awarded pay increases to senior public servants - people that were already earning over $562,000 per year got pay increases of $87,000 in some cases. That’s an annual pay increase that is more than the average income for some.
The Greens are absolutely opposed to this - and are working in the NSW Parliament and with unions and impacted workers to turn this inequality around. We want to block the pay increases for those on big salaries and ensure front line workers and those working in the public service in roles that help and support the community are put first.
Now is the time to show gratitude and respect to those who serve the public good - and give them the pay increase they deserve.