O’Farrell takes axe to shift penalties, carers’ leave, remote living allowances
Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers face losing access to shift penalties, carers’ leave and allowances for living in remote areas under award changes proposed by the NSW Government, says the Public Service Association of NSW.
The government has proposed radical cuts to conditions, including:
- Winding back provisions for carers;
- Cutting penalty payments for shift workers;
- Cutting allowances for workers in remote locations;
- Cutting pay by removing leave loading; and
- Tightening rules around parental leave to exclude long-term foster carers, surrogate parents and kinship care arrangements.
“These changes would leave hundreds of thousands of workers – including prison officers, park rangers, disability support workers, school support staff and community services case workers – out of pocket,” said PSA General Secretary John Cahill.
“They will also make it much harder for parents and carers to meet their caring responsibilities.
“These changes aren’t just bad news for the individuals affected, they’ll have flow-on effects across the economy and the community. Regional NSW will be hard hit, with an effective cut to wages and the removal of incentives for public sector workers to relocate to remote areas.
“The Government has made no case for the value of these cuts, or thought to speak with its workforce about the best way to achieve savings and efficiencies.
“The Premier is letting down NSW workers,” Mr Cahill said.
The Government has applied to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission to alter the Crown Employees Award, which covers about 80,000 public sector workers including child protection case workers, prison officers, park rangers and employees of many government departments. However the changes would flow through to other public sector awards to also affect hundreds of thousands of workers such as nurses, teachers and others.
Contact: John Cahill 0419 413 577 / Jane Garcia 0434 489 533