Friday, 29th May 2020.
LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin has condemned the
Berejiklian-Barilaro Government for trying to rip $780 million from the wages
of nurses and midwives, cleaners, police, firefighters and public servants from
the Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands to spend on Sydney infrastructure.
Following Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s announcement of her public service wage cash grab on Wednesday, analysis of Public Sector Commission data shows more than $780 million in wages will be cut from more than 122,900 regional workers over three years.
In the Richmond-Tweed and New England and North West combined, this amounts to 13,174 public service jobs (full-time equivalent positions) and $84 million in lost wages that could have provided vital economic stimulus.
The breakdown is 5405 workers in Richmond-Tweed with
$35.6 million in wages ripped out of this region over three years. New England
and North West, which includes Tenterfield, has 7769 workers with a lost wages
figure of $48.4 million over three years.
Ms Saffin said Gladys Berejiklian has thanked the heroes who risked their lives and served New South Wales during the COVID-19 crisis with a pay cut.
“NSW Opposition Leader Jodi McKay and her Deputy Yasmin Catley have come out fighting for our frontline public servants who have had their wages cut,” Ms Saffin said.
“Make no mistake, this is a cruel cut by Premier Berejiklian and Deputy Premier (John) Barilaro with their mean wage freeze. Mr Barilaro is always banging on about jobs in the regions but the only thing coming from him is this cut.
“I have joined Jodi and Yasmin in this fight – a fight for workers and a fight for fairness. I stand with our frontline workers.”
Ms Saffin said the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government’s wage cuts would rip millions of dollars out of regional New South Wales with the money likely to be redirected to Sydney infrastructure projects.
“This is money which would have otherwise been spent in local businesses like restaurants, cafes and supermarkets,” Ms Saffin said.
“It’s money that is desperately needed to keep more regional businesses afloat and more local people at work.
“Labor will take the fight to Macquarie Street to ensure that regional workers and the local communities they support are not dudded yet again.”