Yesterday, the government tabled their bargaining proposals to our negotiating team. It came as no surprise to us that they are seeking the same wage pattern with civil servants as they are with the teachers: three years of zero per cent increases, followed by two years of one per cent increases.
Their 47-page proposal (attached here), also includes multiple concessions and takeaways which will negatively affect your working lives.
The proposals this government have brought forward are extreme. They are trying to inspire fear and want you to settle for what they really want: a five-year deal, low wage pattern, changes to the long-service award and no job security. This means you won’t see any significant improvements until 2020.
Government also took the unusual step of releasing some of their proposals to the public and media before collective bargaining could actually take place. Make no mistake: they’re not doing this to be transparent – they are doing this to try and turn public opinion against you, and to set themselves up to table legislation that will impose their desired wage pattern on more than 7,000 civil servants.
The information they released was also misleading and inaccurate. For example, they claimed the average civil servant makes $56,000, but we know that is inflated by approximately $10,000. At that rate, the wage pattern they have proposed amounts to a wage increase of just 31 cents an hour, which you would not receive until 2018.
This is simply unacceptable.
The union tabled very modest proposals at the table yesterday (you can view our document here). We are seeking to maintain the job security, long service award and other non-monetary provisions that we have achieved for you in previous rounds of bargaining, while looking for improvements in vacation entitlement, family illness leave, mileage and wages that would keep pace with the cost of living increases.
I would encourage you to review both proposal documents, and share your thoughts with us. We are back at the bargaining table today and will keep you informed of any developments.