Public Sector Wages Policy



About this Item
SpeakersPresident; Donnelly The Hon Greg; Gallacher The Hon Michael
BusinessQuestions Without Notice, QWN



PUBLIC SECTOR WAGES POLICY
Page: 2301

The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: My question is directed to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. How does the Minister justify exempting police from his Government's wages policy but not firefighters and other emergency service workers?
    The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER: Again members of the Australian Labor Party purport to be the workers' friends but either they are not being honest with the Parliament or they know that before the State election the Fire Brigades Union representing its members—I saw it a week ago and had a great meeting with my union friends—signed up for a 2.5 per cent wage increase when the Australian Labor Party was in office. Someone has not told the Hon. Greg Donnelly the truth. Under the former Labor Government the Fire Brigades Union signed up for that 2.5 per cent wages policy.
      The Hon. Greg Donnelly: Point of order: There may be a misunderstanding by the Minister. The question was very specific.
        The PRESIDENT: Order! Is the member's point of order relevance?
          The Hon. Greg Donnelly: Yes, it is.
            The PRESIDENT: Order! There is no point of order.
              The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER: I will assist the Hon. Greg Donnelly by stepping him through it. The position taken by the Fire Brigades Union, when negotiating with the former Labor Government, was to agree to the former Government's 2.5 per cent wage increase. Prior to the March 2011 State election the Fire Brigades Union recognised that the former Government's 2.5 per cent wages policy was a fair deal for the union and it signed up for that 2.5 per cent.
                The PRESIDENT: Order! I call the Hon. Lynda Voltz to order for the first time.
                  The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER: The Fire Brigades Union award was dealt with by the former Government and an agreement was reached relating to its 2.5 per cent wages policy. Put simply, if the Hon. Greg Donnelly had any questions or concerns about the approach of the former Government to wages and to that agreement, he should have raised them then. I do not remember the Hon. Greg Donnelly speaking on this matter at all.
                    The Hon. GREG DONNELLY: I ask a supplementary question. Will the Minister elucidate his answer with respect to the criteria that firefighters and other emergency service workers have to meet to be able to be treated the same as police with respect to their wages?
                      The Hon. Michael Gallacher: Point of order: That is a brand new question.
                        The PRESIDENT: Order! The supplementary question is in order.
                          The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER: I suggest that the Hon. Greg Donnelly refers to the priorities and parameters that the former Government set in negotiations with the Fire Brigades Union in coming to that agreement.
                            The Hon. Greg Donnelly: Point of order—
                              The PRESIDENT: Order! Has the Minister concluded his answer?
                                The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER: Yes.