WA's 130,000 public servants on notice after Western Power asks staff to accept pay freeze
Summary: WA’s 130,000 public servants - already shocked by a big restructure announced by Premier Mark McGowan this morning - are also bracing for lower wages growth after Western Power asked its staff to accept a one-year pay freeze and only modest rises in the years ahead.....
The Australian Services Union’s (ASU) WA branch secretary Wayne Wood told 6PR’s morning program today that Western Power staff on the company’s enterprise bargaining agreement had been asked to accept a four-year deal comprising zero pay rise in year one, CPI-aligned pay rises (0.6pc) for the following two years and a 1.5 per cent pay rise in year four.
Mr Wood said he believed rank and file members would “not cop” such a deal.
“The State’s in a difficult place with a huge deficit,” he said.
“We understand that they are looking to tighten their belts, however our members believe they are entitled to negotiate a pay rise.”
Mr Wood said workers saw a lot of money being wasted by poor management that had delivered lower profits.
However he said the workers’ pay claims would be modest.
Western Power is also understood to be keen to wind back a clause for unlimited sick leave in the existing agreement and make changes around carer’s leave and superannuation.
Questioned about the previous government’s plan to privatise the poles and wires utility, Mr Wood said the union had fought against the proposal and members knew things would be worse if Western Power was privatised.
The union would begin negotiations on the new EBA soon, with the existing agreement due to expire in August.
The pay negotiations begin as Mr McGowan confirmed this morning that many public servants faced job losses in the months and years to come.
The Premier said he would reduce the number of State departments from the current number of 41 to 25 by the middle of the year through amalgamations as part of efforts to drive a more “efficient” public sector.