Tasmania has an excellent, dedicated and professional public sector.
They deserve to be well paid, and are, especially in comparison to the private sector with the average cost to the budget of a full time public servant being around $110,000 per year.
The unions have called for wage increases of three per cent or more which would cost the State at least an additional $28 million each and every year, arguing that wages have not kept pace with inflation.
That is complete rubbish. Their claims are misleading and false.
Since 2014, our public sector wage policy has ensured that increases have been above inflation. That means if we had adopted the unions’ policy in 2014, public servants would be paid significantly less than what they are now.*
Even the RBA is forecasting CPI – which measures inflation – to be 1.75 per cent in 2018, much less than the two per cent wage increase that is on offer to public servants.^
Under our offer to unions, public servants will continue to get a two per cent pay rise every year, with a significant number of public servants to receive additional pay rises after every 12 months of continuous service.
This means that most public servants will actually receive pay rises well in excess of two per cent, well in excess of inflation and well in excess of what most working Tasmanians will receive.
The Government believes that public servants deserve a pay rise, but it must be affordable. Even an additional pay rise of an extra one per cent would cost an additional $28 million per year meaning that we would have less to invest into hiring more nurses teachers or other front line workers.
* http://bit.ly/WagesCPIChart
^ https://www.rba.gov.au/media-releases/2018/mr-18-17.html
Peter Gutwein, Treasurer