Queensland public service revolt

By Angela Dorizas

Unions have threatened to take industrial action if the Queensland Government fails to deliver on its election commitment of public servant wage increases.

Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser has been advised by Treasury to consider freezing wages, cutting superannuation and abolishing leave loading.

The Queensland Public Sector Union (QPSU) responded by holding an urgent meeting with the Treasurer, urging him to not back down from election commitments.

According to QPSU state secretary Alex Scott, the Treasurer acknowledged that an election promise had been made, but told the union there was no binding commitment.

“We had a significant industrial campaign last year which resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government and we got some commitments in writing in the lead up to the State Election,” Scott told GovernmentNews.

“The State Election commitment was to guarantee, despite the downturn in the budget, they would deliver on the MoU.

“This was front and centre in the election campaign and we believe that there is a moral and political obligation for the government to implement it.

“We’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that they will do that even if they don’t want to.”

Scott said the union was kicking off a significant community and political campaign to put “maximum pressure” on the State Government in the lead up to the June Budget.

Industrial action is also likely to take place following the Budget announcement.

“It would be a series of rolling stoppages, plus a range of other activities,” he said.

Fraser said he had not yet responded to Treasury’s advice, adding that he wanted to deliver on his election commitment of providing a public sector pay rise.

“Our priorities are not having job losses, making sure that we keep the capital works program going and now’s not the time for tax rises,” Fraser told ABC News.

“If we’re to do all those things then we are faced with tough choices.”

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