QLD public servants win wage hike

Following months of industrial action, the Queensland Government has finally signed a three-year wage agreement with more than 125,000 public servants that offers a 4.5 per cent pay rise in the first year and a four per cent rise in the two following years.

“The minimum increase will be $34 a week, applying for workers such as hospital workers, teacher’s aides, cleaners and non-teaching TAFE staff,” Premier Anna Bligh said. 

While the Government initially stood firm on its 3.25 per cent offer, Ms Bligh said the new deal was a good outcome, which would enable the Government to retain and attract quality staff and function effectively.

“This is a good deal for lower paid workers in these difficult times.

“The public servants affected are being offered a realistic wage increase while we still take a responsible approach to managing the state budget,” Ms Bligh said.

She said the deal would cost the state budget an extra $90 million, but was broadly consistent with the type of increases being paid in other public services around Australia.

“We will have an industrial relations environment that will ensure there are no interruptions in the provision of vital public services to Queenslanders,” she said.

Among the first beneficiaries of the new deal will be hospital staff, teacher’s aides, Main Roads and Q Build.

About 45,000 workers will receive a pre-Christmas bonus and a further 80,000 will take home lifted wages when their current arrangements expire over coming months. 

The Queensland Public Sector Union (QPSU), which originally demanded a minimum 5.1 per cent hike, said the union would scrap planned work bans as health workers agreed to the deal.

The union members staged a series of public protests and work bans in order to raise the pressure on the Government.

“All of this made the issue of wages something too big for the Premier to ignore.

“Since September 30, with the Premier’s direct intervention we’ve secured not only a better wages offer but an end to the threat of trade-offs,” the QPRS said in a statement.

The union also said the deal would provide certainty for public servants who struggle to balance family budgets amid the economic meltdown, but the campaign would continue.
“There’s a lot of work still to be done: workers in many agencies will still have to campaign for better conditions next year. But they will do it under the umbrella of a fair wages offer,” it said.

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