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Pay freeze 'trade-off'

PUBLIC sector workers have come out publicly to state they would consider a pay freeze in exchange for job protection.

But Together union secretary Alex Scott said such an enterprise bargaining deal would need to come directly to members instead of through the media.

The Queensland Government had offered public servants a 2.2% wage rise but would not promise employment security, tipping 20,000 job cuts.

Mr Scott said the union, which has been at war with the government for weeks, could strike as early as the middle of next week.

But he said members had decided not to take strike action "while we're under the auspices of the Industrial Relations Commission" which is overseeing negotiations.

"What we want is to deliver quality services to the Queensland community," he said yesterday.

"While we have threatened industrial action, we've also got a significant community campaign and a paid media campaign to launch if the government fails to negotiate about the real issues which are the 20,000 job cuts.

"But we respect the role of the IRC; they are able to deliver quality outcomes for the government and for the economy and for the workforce.

"After next Friday we'll then make a decision as to how close we are to agreement or otherwise."

Mr Scott said the commission's decision to issue orders to both correctional officers and the corrections department yesterday over strike action showed the "strength of the IRC as an independent umpire that can resolve significant industrial disputes".

He said he had seen how a strong independent umpire can bring this government "to heel".

"What we need to make sure is that the government respects the role of the umpire to avoid industrial disputation rather than creating it," he said.

 

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Topics:  public sector workers, warwick




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