Last week Premier Dan Andrews marched with workers seeking better pay and conditions.

This week his government released the most regressive, anti-worker wages policy in decades.

The new policy features three “pillars”:

  1. pay increases in the public sector will be capped at 2%
  2. a “Best Practice Employment Commitment”
  3. a requirement that other changes to agreements (wages) will only be allowed “if Government agrees that the changes will address key operational or strategic priorities”

Elsewhere, the policy provides that a 2.5% wages outcome will be allowed, but only if workers and unions agree not to bargain, to roll over their existing agreement and only if the agreement expires before mid-2020.

The policy also states that any agreements currently being negotiated under the old wage policy must be finalised before May 20th this year, or they will revert to this new, draconian policy. In effect, this has handed all the aces to employers, who now have no reason to reach agreement on any outstanding matters.

The Andrews Labor Government has effectively delivered a kick in the guts to its own workers

Under the previous policy, workers in the public sector achieved wages outcomes averaging 3 – 3.25%

Stagnant wages growth is an anchor on the economy, and this new policy will only exacerbate the problem. Treasurer Pallas knows this, so for him to lead this attack on workers is all the more inexplicable.

For ASU members this means we now have a major fight on hands to achieve decent pay outcomes.

This fight will be first seen in upcoming bargaining with VicRoads, Melbourne Water, Barwon Water, and at other public sector workplaces.

We have called on Premier Dan Andrews and Treasurer Tim Pallas tear up this terrible policy and start again, by having genuine consultation with public sector unions.

The Australian Services Union promotes, protects and enhances the working conditions of members and we will not accept wage outcomes that are not in the interest of members

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