Public sector workers strike as O’Farrell cuts jobs and pay

Greens MP Jamie Parker last week joined an estimated 30,000 public sector workers rallying against job cuts and attempts by the NSW government to reduce pay and working conditions.

"The O’Farrell government will slash 5,000 jobs and will not replace staff lost through general turnover and attrition. This means huge capacity loss within the public sector, reducing the quality of services provided by teachers, nurses, health care workers, fire-fighters, police and other vital public sector employees,” said Mr Parker.

“O'Farrell's policy has already capped wage increases at 2.5%, despite the budget putting inflation in excess of 3%. That translates to a significant loss in real wages for public sector workers.”

"The government is likely to move to forced redundancies if they can't achieve 5,000 job cuts through voluntary redundancies. It's a slap in the face to public sector workers who are already adjusting to real wage losses."

“I’m concerned for the many public sector workers in my electorate of Balmain. I am appalled that teachers for example are being asked to find cost cuts to pay for their own wage rises just to keep up with inflation."

Mr Parker spoke in Parliament last week supporting TAFE and highlighting a history of underfunding, with no real increase in this year's budget.

"The increase in funding of about 0.7 per cent is actually a 3.1 per cent reduction in real terms. TAFE funding needs to be adjusted for inflation to recognise those increasing costs."

Mr Parker also raised concerns over the increasing casualisation of TAFE teachers. 

"The Greens are concerned that flexibility and industry skills have been used as an excuse to cut costs by excessively reducing the number of full-time permanent staff." 

Mr Parker has started a petition in support of public sector workers' rights.

More information: Alison Martin 0432 941 533

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