No wage freeze for Tasmanian public servants, state government confirms

By Matthew Elmas

Monday October 12, 2020

wage freeze
Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff (L) and Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein (R). (AAP).

Public servants in Tasmania will not suffer a wage freeze in the state’s upcoming budget, Acting Premier Jeremy Rockliff has confirmed.

Due to hand down the state’s 2020-21 budget on November 12, the Tasmanian government says it will honor all wage agreements for public servants.

“We recognise that the Tasmanian State Service and its senior leaders have worked tirelessly to ensure the continued delivery of services to our community during what has been an incredibly challenging period,” Rockliff said in a statement.

“We know the economy and the Budget have taken a hit from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, we also recognise the importance of continued local economic stimulus, and any wage increase assists broader spending and confidence in our economy.”

Under a public sector union wage agreement signed in 2019, public servants in Tasmania will receive a 2.3% pay bump on December 1, 2020 and a further 2.35% increase twelve months later.

Earlier this year the public sector union balked when Premier Peter Gutwein moved to freeze wage increases for senior public servants, citing COVID-19 financial pressures.

But that decision has also been wound back and will not be extended, meaning wage increases for senior executives will proceed as usual, backdated to July 2020.

Tasmania’s approach differs to that of NSW, which had pushed for a public servant wage freeze and earlier this month succeeded in a $3 billion cost cutting effort in the wake of an industrial umpire decision.

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