Media Release

21 May 2020

The NSW Labor Opposition has condemned plans by the Berejiklian Government to cut the wages of 400,000 public sector workers – including at least 1,590 workers
in the Ballina electorate and 1,405 workers in the electorate of Tweed – saying the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic shouldn’t be thanked with a pay cut.

Liberal Treasurer Dominic Perrottet recently confirmed he would deny a 2.5 per cent pay increase to every public service employee in the state. There are 750 teachers, 720 health workers and 118 police officers in the Ballina electorate. Within the Tweed electorate, there are 621 teachers, 620 health workers, 159 police officers and 4 public transport drivers.

Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations and Shadow Minister for the North Coast, Adam Searle said that rather than cutting the wages of vital public sector employees, the Liberals and Nationals could save more by abandoning their wasteful, extravagant $1.5 billion plan to relocate the Powerhouse Museum.

“Hard working cleaners, drivers, paramedics, nurses, teachers, police and many others risked their lives to look after our state during the pandemic – and now this Government wants to thank them with a pay cut” — Adam Searle MLC, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations and Shadow Minister for the North Coast

“Reasonable wage increases are a vital stimulus measure. It is time to put dollars in pockets, not take them away. A pay cut to 400,000 people will be a body blow to our economic recovery.”

“If the Berejiklian Government has a budget black hole they need to fill because of the COVID-19 pandemic they should start by scrapping their $1.5 billion Powerhouse museum move.”

Adam Searle MLC said the Government’s pay cut would devastate hundreds of local families.

“Vital public sector workers have gone above and beyond for our communities during this pandemic and now the Government wants to turn around and cut their pay.”

“Thanks to Gladys Berejiklian there are more than 1,590 people in Ballina and over 1,405 people in Tweed facing a pay cut at an already difficult time.”

“Our struggling local small businesses will also suffer if people have less money in their pockets to spend. Whichever way you look at it, this just does not make sense.”