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Australia Treasurer rules out pay freeze for Victorian government workers

04:32  29 may  2020
04:32  29 may  2020 Source:   theage.com.au

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Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas says he will not adopt a NSW-style public sector wage freeze . Credit:James Ross. The NSW government wants to save billion by freezing pay increases for a year, offering job guarantees in return to most of the state's 410,000-strong public sector.

Under complicated federal pay rules , pay for government employees would have automatically increased by roughly 2 percent in January, with additional raises of considerably more based on workers ’ locations, if neither Congress nor the president took action this year. The Senate passed a

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas addresses the media during a press conference in Melbourne, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. © AAP Image/James Ross Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas addresses the media during a press conference in Melbourne, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The state Labor government has rejected a NSW-style public sector wage freeze as it prepares to sign a new pay deal with 40,000 of its public servants within weeks.

The state, which is expected to settle on a new agreement with the public servants for an increase between 2 and 3 per cent, says it will not change its public-sector bargaining policy which it says guarantees minimum 2 per cent pay rises for its 320,000 employees.

Treasurer Tim Pallas, who is prepared to borrow $24 billion to pay for the state's response to the COVID-19 crisis, said on Thursday that the policy would not change despite another warning from an international credit ratings agency this week that government wage growth needed to be reined in.

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Trump also stressed that a pay freeze would not affect the federal government 's ability to attract qualified workers . He cited his statutory authority to adjust pay out of "national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare."

Tenants Victoria chief executive Jennifer Beveridge said the land tax relief would be a good incentive for landlords to enter into mediation with renters and the moratorium on evictions and rent increases was urgently needed. "Tenants Victoria especially welcomes the million identified to provide relief

The NSW government wants to save $3 billion by freezing pay increases for a year, offering job guarantees in return to most of the state's 410,000-strong public sector.

The pause follows a six-month freeze on Commonwealth public sector, ministerial and parliamentary wage increases, with the Queensland Labor government also pursuing a 12-month freeze.

Mr Pallas told The Age on Thursday that there would be no deviation from the government's bargaining policy for the public servants, who began their negotiations looking for annual pay rises worth 3.5 per cent, or anyone else.

But nor would a pay freeze be considered, a spokesman for the Treasurer said.

"We have no plans to put added burden on nurses, paramedics, police and other workers on the front line of the fight against coronavirus," Mr Pallas' spokesman said.

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Desert animals have also developed many characteristics that help them to survive in arid environment. Camels can go for a very long time without drinking. Other animals, such as snakes and rats, find cool places to sleep during the day and come out only at night.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced children in the state will begin returning to classrooms on May 26. NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet is refusing to repeat earlier support for frontline health care workers to be exempt from a public sector pay freeze .

The public service union, the CPSU, said Mr Pallas' stance was "common sense".

Mr Pallas and his colleagues also face wage negotiations in the coming months with the state's 75,000 public school teachers, but their union said on Thursday that it was too early to nominate a pay rise figure.

In their last round of bargaining three years ago, the teachers secured average annual pay rises of up to 4.4 per cent.

Recent deals between the Victorian government and police and paramedics have been in line with the 2 per cent policy, according to the government, but came with big improvements in conditions which allowed the police union to tell its members that it had won an agreement worth 3 per cent a year.

Victoria's government employee costs were up above $26 billion for the 2019-2020 financial year, about 37 per cent of government revenue for the year, according to projections made before the virus slashed the government's ability to raise taxes.

NSW public sector wage freeze won't have support of Shooters, Fishers and Farmers

  NSW public sector wage freeze won't have support of Shooters, Fishers and Farmers The NSW Government faces significant opposition to its public sector pay freeze as the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers join Labor, the Greens and the Animal Justice Party in fighting the proposal.The NSW Government won't be able to count on the all-important support of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party (SFF) when it comes to pushing its public sector wage freeze through Parliament.

The Government ’s JobKeeper Payment will help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact of the coronavirus. Under the JobKeeper Payment , workers will receive a fortnightly payment of ,500 (before tax) through their employer.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Treasurer Tim Pallas outlined the measures on Saturday in what they said is a stimulus package targeted directly at SMEs and the workers they employ. The government has pledged to fully refund the payroll tax already paid by small and medium businesses

The independent Parliamentary Budget office expected staff costs to peak in excess of that level next year, but to return to 36 per cent or less, close to the 10-year average, by 2023.

But state Liberal treasury spokeswoman Louise Staley said the Andrews government had lost control of public sector wages.

"Labor promised last year that wages would only increase by 2.5 per cent but in the last quarter alone employee expenses have blown out by 8.8 per cent," Ms Staley said.

Click here for up-to-date coverage of the COVID-19 crisis on the Microsoft News app — available on Windows 10, iOS and Android

NSW economy suffers biggest fall in 20 years but coronavirus impact yet to be seen, Premier warns .
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says bushfires and storms are responsible for the biggest contraction in the NSW economy in 20 years and warns worse is yet to come when the true effects of coronavirus is felt later this year.Figures from the Bureau of Statistics show Australia's economy shrank 0.3 per cent in the March quarter — in New South Wales it shrank 1.5 per cent.

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