More than 400,000 public sector workers will have their annual pay rises slashed.
The NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) on Thursday awarded a 0.3 per cent pay increase to public servants, instead to their usual 2.5 per cent.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian had attempted to freeze pay rises back in May due to COVID-19 to help save the state $3billion.
The IRC’s decision was declared a ‘kick in the guts’ for frontline workers such as nurses, firefighters and police officers who helped with COVID-19 and bushfires.
The IRC’s decision was declared a ‘kick in the guts’ for frontline workers who were seeking their 2.5 per cent annual pay increase (Pictured: Registered Nurse Michelle Gibbons conducts a COVID-19 swab test in Bondi on July 22)
Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) had attempted to freeze pay rises back in May due to COVID-19, to help save the state $3billion
‘The commission proposes to make awards and variations to avoid such a reduction, by awarding increases of 0.3 per cent,’ the IRC said in its published decision.
‘We recognise that it will do little to alleviate the concerns of those witnesses and any like-minded co-workers who see the employers’ position in these proceedings as failing to recognise, let alone reward, their efforts.’
Unions NSW secretary Mark Morey said the IRC’s decision was ‘unacceptable’ and unions would be seeking legal action.
‘Today is a kick in the guts for every public sector worker that got us through not only bushfires but COVID,’ he said.
Public Service Association general secretary Stewart Little said the outcome affects workers who have stopped the pandemic from overwhelming hospitals, schools, prisons and the community.
‘We see this decision as absolutely diabolical,’ he told reporters.
Firefighters were not happy with the decision after they had been seeking their annual 2.5 per cent annual pay rise (Pictured: RFS crews battling fires in Kangaroo Valley on January 5)
NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association general secretary Brett Holmes said it’s a ‘disgraceful’ outcome for nurses who have been putting their lives and their families at risk amid COVID-19.
NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos described the ruling as ‘nothing short of an insult’.
NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay said she was ‘bitterly disappointed’ by the decision.
‘I am thinking of 400,000 public sector employees who have been ripped off,’ she told reporters.