NSW election: PSA meets with Wagga Wagga MP, Dr Joe McGirr - Public Service Association

NSW election: PSA meets with Wagga Wagga MP, Dr Joe McGirr

A delegation from the PSA’s South West Region Local Campaign Action Group met Wagga Wagga MP, Dr Joe McGirr on 7 December to garner his support for workplace issues that affect PSA members. Members of the delegation were PSA delegates Tanya Pople (PSA Schools Delegate), Suzie Evans (Youth Justice Delegate), Paul Willis (Community Corrections Delegate) and Tom Hooper (PSA Regional Organiser)

The delegation felt that Dr McGirr was supportive of the PSA position on all counts, with a couple of caveats.

Wage cap

Dr McGirr is supportive of the PSA’s campaign to have the 2.5 per cent wage cap lifted. However, he thinks it should be for a period of two to three years, then reviewed and evaluated. He is also of the view that wage increases should be linked to productivity; that is, we all need to improve the way we operate. In addition , he expressed that the Industrial Relations Commission should be available to settle disputes between employers and the unions.


Dr McGirr responded to the election commitments of both major parties of 10,000 teachers being made permanent, by saying that he could not see why it does not also apply to School and Administrative School Support (SAS) staff. Note that this meeting occurred prior to the Department of Education’s announcement to convert 7000 SAS staff to ongoing employment.

He also stated he does not think it is right for people to be on short-term contracts for five, 10 or 20 years. He is of the view that after a set period, say three to five years, an employee should be made permanent. With that position being made FTE ongoing, to be filled by another person when the current holder of the position resigns or retires.

He understands the stress that short-term contracts generate in people, in particular the instability it causes in their lives when they apply for services such as home loans. Dr McGirr thinks if a person has been in a position for an extended period they can obviously do the job. They should not be made to reapply every year or submit to a competitive interview if the position is made permanent.


In relation to privatisation of NSW public services, Dr McGirr stated that there has been enough. He went further to explain that he thinks the NSW Government has a mixed record on the privatisation of public assets.

However, he did say that privatisation cannot be ruled out completely as there could be good arguments for it in certain circumstances. Mostly he is of view that there is a strong case against privatisation especially, with him citing the example of the sell off of Transgrid and poles and wires. Dr McGirr would hate to see Forestry Corp or NSW Water privatised. Ultimately he believes the role of Government is important to society and for a good society, and that Government needs to maintain a top public service.

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