Labor’s new wages policy isn’t worth the paper it’s written on

The Andrews Government’s new wages policy is facing a key test with reports the Community & Public Sector Union (CPSU) is demanding pay increases in the order of 3.5%, extra leave and more superannuation.

Earlier this year, Treasurer and Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas issued a new wages policy which caps wages growth at 2% per annum, a figure that one union described as “a kick in the guts”.

But having since sent out so many mixed messages on public sector wages, it’s no surprise that Labor’s union mates are ignoring the new wages policy:

- On 4 April, Mr Pallas told The Age that wage increases would need to be “less generous” than in previous years.

- On 10 April, Mr Andrews rallied with the union movement to ‘change the rules’ and said Australia needs a pay rise.

If Mr Andrews and Mr Pallas cannot say what they mean, why would unions do what they say?

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Nick Wakeling:

“The CPSU’s defiance of the Andrews Government’s new wages policy shows all other unions that it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.”

“The union movement has sent a very clear message to Daniel Andrews. They expect big pay increases, and they expect the Andrews Labor Government to deliver them.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“This push for above-inflation wage increases is a real test for the Andrews Government’s budget.”

“If Daniel Andrews buckles, all Victorians will pay the price through higher taxes or cuts to services.”

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