Earlier this month NTPS workers delivered a resounding rejection of the Gunner Government’s wage freeze policy. Instead of respecting the vote result and returning to the bargaining table for genuine negotiations, the Government has responded by rushing out a new offer with little to no consultation in a bid to force through a four-year wage freeze before Christmas.
On top of that the Gunner Government has seen fit to issue a threat to Territory workers – vote up the offer or risk losing your job.
That’s not how budgets work and that’s not genuine bargaining. Backed into a corner, the Government has landed on a bargaining position somewhere between a bribe and a threat.
The new offer is largely unchanged, but thanks to the pressure of your strong No vote, it now contains significantly increased annual bonus payments.
But there is still no pay rise – in four years’ time your base salary will be exactly where it is today. Cost of living won’t stand still while your wages do. Agencies are also apparently expected to fund these bonuses out of their existing agency budgets.
We have now asked you what you thought of this development. In response to our snap poll, just 12.5% of members said they would support the new bonus amounts. Over 80% said they wanted to see real wage rises of either a $1,000 per annum salary increase as recommended in the 2019 Langoulant Budget Repair report, or a percentage increase.
CPSU NT Regional Secretary Kay Densley has written to the Chief Minister condemning the Government's refusal to engage in genuine bargaining, and reminding him, among other things, that good faith bargaining does not include threats of employees being sacked if they use their voice at the ballot box. You can read the letter here.
Voting no last time saw the Government abandon its wages policy. They’ve put more money on the table but now they need to put it where it needs to be – in salaries, not bonuses.