NSW government freezes pay of MPs, senior public servants

ABC News, 30 May 2023

New South Wales politicians and senior bureaucrats will not be getting a pay rise for at least two years, as legislation to freeze their pay is introduced to parliament.

The legislation is expected to pass, and will come into effect on July 1.

Premier Chris Minns took the plan to the election, and cabinet signed off on it last night.

In question time today, the Premier told parliament it was a budget-saving measure.

"It has become necessary for the incoming government to progress this policy change and this legislation because of the reckless budget management by the previous government," he said.

The government estimates the measure will save $260 million over four years, which will be redirected into services likes schools and hospitals.

"We are taking action in relation to the explosion of senior executive positions in the NSW government," the Premier said.

Overall, the government outlays about $47 billion for public-sector wages.

Labor promised to scrap the previous Coalition government's cap on pay rises for public sector workers, which is currently 3 per cent.

Two weeks ago, the government held a meeting with union leaders where they discussed an increase of 4 per cent for nurses, teachers and other frontline workers.

The Health Services Union has been taking industrial action, accusing the government of being too slow to remove the cap.

It wants a 6 per cent pay rise for its members, which include paramedics, wards people, cleaners and allied health workers.

In a sign the union is ramping up its campaign, staff plan to stop work for an hour at Westmead, Nepean, Blacktown, Nepean, John Hunter and Morisset hospitals on Wednesday.

The Health Services Union Secretary Gerard Hayes welcomed the politician and senior executive pay freeze, saying it sets a good example.