Public sector pay sweetener is a bitter reminder of LNP’s poor record on wage growth

Queensland Unions say the one-off bonus payment to sweeten state public sector wage deals is a bitter reminder of the federal LNP government’s atrocious record on wages growth.

Queensland Council of Unions Acting General Secretary Michael Clifford said the $1250 payment announced today by the Palaszczuk Labor government will be welcomed for public sector workers.

Frontline service workers like nurses, midwives, firefighters, medical officers, teacher aides and school cleaners will be among those eligible for the payment.

“It should also put pressure on the private sector to lift wage increases,” he said.

“Wage stagnation is a massive problem. It is hurting working people and their families and it is also hurting our economy as people aren’t spending.”

Australian retail turnover fell 0.1 per cent in July 2019, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade figures.

In Queensland there was a 0.2 per cent fall in retail turnover, on seasonally adjusted terms.

“Higher wage increases are going to have a more enduring impact to the economy but these one-off payments also have a benefit in stimulating activity,” Mr Clifford said.

“Unions would prefer to see the Government delivering higher wages than delivering one off payments, but it shows they recognise the need to put more money in workers’ pockets and have responded,” he said.

“There are also measures announced today to address gender pay inequity which are most welcome,” Mr Clifford said.

“The Palaszczuk Labor government’s efforts stand in stark contrast to the Morrison Government which talks about the need for wage growth but do nothing to deliver these increases and actually cut penalty rates for 700,000 workers in the private sector.

“There was not a peep from the Morrison government this week when a survey of Chief Executive Officer salaries showed that the average CEO earns 72 times the average Australian wage.”

The average wage for a full-time worker is $85,000 while the average CEO salary is $6.1m a year, according to research from the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors.

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