Wage Freeze Bill: Debate suspended

  • 5 September 2014
Debate began but was then suspended in the Tasmanian Parliament on the government's controversial Bill to freeze public sector wages and hand decisions around future wages and agreements over to the Treasurer. The Hodgman government seemed to believe opposition parties would roll over and accept the inevitability of the legislation passing the Lower House but instead faced a united, well researched and passionate defence of workers rights from both Labor and Greens members. Despite this legislation having a significant effect on the lives of thousands of Tasmanians most government members couldn't be bothered to sit in the house to listen to the debate. The contributions by the Treasurer and Premier failed to explain why they had not told public sector workers before the election of their intention to freeze wages, ironically they continued with their mantra about 'keeping their promises'. Opposition & Labor leader Bryan Green showed how the government were using the money saved through the wage freeze to pay for the $400m of pork barreling they rolled out during the election campaign. Deputy Labor leader Michelle O'Byrne took the parliament through the legislation so that everyone listening were clear the legislation is not about a wage freeze but is about dismantling Tasmania's IR system so they government doesn't need to negotiate with its workers ever again. There was one bizarre moment when it became clear that the Treasurer was reading from a different second reading speech to the one that had been provided to the parliament. Seems he made a few last minute changes in an effort to put some gloss on a very bad Bill. Debate was suspended just after 11pm and will resume in two weeks. It will then be the turn of the Upper House to consider this dud Bill. Write to your Legislative Councilor and tell them to reject this legislation! THE best way to get our Upper House to reject the anti-worker Crown Employees (Salaries) Bill 2014 is for you – constituents telling your elected representative why you’re opposed to this legislation and why they should to throw this legislation out. Your CPSU has a range of materials to help you do this. The more letters, the stronger the message! Click here to find a map of Legislative Council divisions, a contact list for MLCs and a letter writing kit to ensure a strong message is sent to the Upper House that Tasmanian workers reject this legislation. Sign the petition against the Bill AS WELL as writing to your MLC, you can sign the petition calling on Legislative Councilors to reject the Bill and forward the link on to your colleagues, friends and family. Find the petition here. The debate on the Crown Employees (Salaries) Bill 2014 starts again in a fortnight, so there’s time to send a strong message to both the Upper and Lower House to reject this legislation, so the government can do what it should’ve done in the first place – talk to its employees and the unions that represent them.