We explained that wage increases aren’t keeping up with cost of living. The costs of groceries, petrol, rent, electricity and rates are going up and up at rates of far more than 2%. We told the Minister that in real terms, a 2% wage rise is actually a wage cut.
We also talked about a few other things we want to see in the Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement and Allied Health agreement.
Some of these things were unfair public holiday leave for shift workers, the overuse of casuals and fixed term positions, lack of permanent staff, and workload.
The Minister seemed to listen to what we said, but he didn’t make any commitments. He thanked us for sharing our experiences and said he’d think about what we said.
It’s important for us to talk to as many members of the Government as we can because they’re the real decision-makers when it comes to the public sector wage cap.
We’ve tried to meet with the Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, and the Human Services Minister, Roger Jaensch, about public sector bargaining too, but they refused to speak to us.
We thanked the Health Minister for meeting with us and just hope he really did listen.