Public Health Pay Increase
The HSU has secured a 2.27% pay increase for members working in NSW Health effective from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2014.
Earlier this year, the HSU lodged 23 applications to vary all awards by 2.5% covering HSU members working in the public health sector. Included in these were applications by the HSU for all paramedics in the Ambulance Service and junior medical officers in NSW Health.
The HSU has been heavily involved in the fight against the NSW government’s plans to reduce pay increases below 2.5%. Last year, the O’Farrell government announced that it would reduce the amount NSW public sector employees could claim in the form of pay increases to 2.25%.
HSU Secretary Gerard Hayes says this reduction of wages on offer is an attempt by the government to force public sector workers to fund the government’s obligation to increase its compulsory superannuation contributions.
“The government argues that the 0.25% increase in superannuation is an employee related cost and as such must come from the 2.5% annual limit imposed by the current wages policy.
“The HSU, along with other public sector unions, was successful last year in fighting this policy through advocacy in the Industrial Relations Commission and by lobbying members of the Upper House to disallow any attempts by the government to change the regulations.
“The NSW Government responded to our success with an appeal to the Supreme Court which, on 14 March this year, overturned the decision of the IRC granting the full 2.5% increase to salaries for public sector employees effective from 1 July 2013.
The HSU then made an application to the High Court of Australia but in a deceitful move instead of defending their position in the High Court the government rammed through legislation as part of the budget that cemented their win in the Supreme Court thus scuppering our High Court challenge. The result is a smaller 2.27% increase this year.
“Whenever this Government loses a legal case they simply change the rules after the game is over and declare themselves the winner.”
As part of its claim, the government is also seeking to include a ‘no extra claims’ clause in our Awards. This would prevent the union from making any extra claims for salaries or conditions for our members over the next 12 months. The HSU is strongly opposed to this.
This matter was arbitrated in the Industrial Commission on 8 July 2014. The payment of the 2.27% this year should now have been received. IF any member feels they have not received their pay increase please contact the union on 1300 478 679.
Previous coverage on the issue
We know that members are concerned about more than their wages. As part of the ‘We All Matter’ campaign we are seeking a guarantee that agreed staffing establishment levels are restored and members’ jobs aren’t cut anymore.
Historically the union has been able to get increases over and above the 2.5% on the back of efficiencies, productivity and reform agendas, but with the current Liberal/National wages policy this is not possible.
The government’s policy freezes public sector wage rises at 2.5% per year (now reduced to 2.25%) unless workers are prepared to make ‘employee related savings’ or ‘cost offsets’. In reality, this means taking back hard fought conditions.
While the union will never agree with this restrictive policy we have to work to extract out of it, what we can for members.
While the number of doctors and nurses has increased significantly under the NSW Coalition Government, this has been at the cost of allied health and hotel & support service workers. These workers are constantly forced to do more with less.
Cuts and vacant positions exist throughout the health system. But allied health, hotel & support services, and other groups of our members, are as important to the running of the health system and to patient care as anyone else.
That’s why the union is demanding that agreed staffing establishment levels be adhered to and for a stop to the constant cuts to health.
How you can get involved in the fight for fair wages and conditions at work