NSW public servants have lodged a formal complaint with the International Labour Organisation over the government’s attack on fundamental workers’ rights.
The Public Service Association, the ACTU and the CPSU, have joined forces – calling on the ILO to investigate the conduct of the NSW Government.
PSA General Secretary Anne Gardiner said that laws introduced by the government between 2011 and 2014 breached international standards affecting the state’s nearly 400,000 public servants.
“Governments are in the unique position of being both an employer and a legislator. The NSW Government has abused this power in order to deny NSW public servants the basic rights other workers in Australia take for granted,” Ms Gardiner said.
“Public sector employees don’t have the right to collectively bargain for wage increases above a limit determined by their employer, or to secure entitlements like redundancy pay in their Award.”
“You can judge the character of a government by how it treats its own workforce. Instead of being the gold standard this government has shown contempt for its employees.”
ACTU President Ged Kearney said Australia was a member of the ILO and had ratified Collective Bargaining conventions.
“We have been forced to make this complaint because the actions of the NSW Government do not comply with Australia’s international obligations,” Ms Kearney said.
These laws not only hurt public sector workers, but the entire job market.
“When the biggest employer in the state passes laws that suppress wages, it’s no surprise salaries across the state stagnate as well,” Ms Gardiner said.
“It is bad faith in the extreme for the NSW Government to use its role as legislator to strip away its obligations to its workforce as an employer,” Ms Gardiner said.
WHEN: 11am, Thursday 5 March
WHERE: Back of Parliament House, Hospital Road.
WHO: Anne Gardiner – PSA General Secretary, Ged Kearney – ACTU President, Karen Batt – CPSU Federal Secretary.