Media Release

2 June 2020

The Labor Party has today drawn a line in the sand for more than 400,000 NSW workers by successfully fighting back against a Berejiklian Government plan to cut their wages.

A disallowance motion brought by Labor in the Legislative Council has headed off a sneaky attempt to introduce measures that would have stopped a scheduled 2.5 per cent pay rise.

However when questioned in the Legislative Council, the Government refused to rule out pressing ahead with its outrageous wage-slashing plan by taking it straight to the Industrial Relations Commission.

Liberal and National MPs were attempting to slash the income of public workers such as health workers, cleaners, teachers, firefighters and police officers even though these people have been on the frontlines protecting our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every single Liberal and National Party Member of Parliament who supported wage cuts for workers owes their community an explanation” — Jodi McKay, NSW Labor Leader

The move came even as independent economic modelling from the Australia Institute has revealed the proposed wage cuts would have cut 1,100 jobs from the NSW economy.

The report outlines that for every $1 million invested in public worker wages two additional private sector jobs are created. The same amount invested in construction would only create one additional job.

The Australia Institute’s report also warned that cutting workers’ wages to fund infrastructure might accelerate job losses across the private sector in retail, hospitality and tourism.

Ms McKay said: “Why have Liberal and National Party MPs tried to take money out of our local communities in the middle of an economic crisis when we desperately need money circulating in the economy?”

“This attempt to cut wages isn’t just an insult to every worker who kept our community going during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an act of economic vandalism.

“Labor will continue to fight the Berejiklian Government every step of the way. Our nurses, cleaners, police and firefighters are heroes. They deserve a medal, not a pay cut.” — Jodi McKay, NSW Labor Leader