This is difficult to understand since:
- Pay rises range between 3.8-6%
- The state will fund an extra 500 nurses.
But while addressing nurses at the rally yesterday, head of the Australian Nursing Federation, Ms Fitzpatrick portrayed the productivity offsets as either motherhood statements or reiterations of current practice.
I don't get it. The government seems to have caved in to demands from the nurses because of staffing bans imposed that put public health at risk.
The outcome of the case is poor for the cause of maintaining a lid on public sector salaries in Victoria. The Victorian Branch of the Education Union will meet today to endorse a strike to be held in Victorian schools during VCE exams. Ms. Blewett, the union's Victorian boss said:
"The (nurses) package of 3.8-6% would not stop the loss of teachers to NSW in particular and other states," she said. "We have to get a package that has the capacity to attract and retain teachers in Victoria and the gap in salary is a very significant one."
The Victorian union is seeking a moderate increase of 30% over 3 years for its 33,000 members. The State Government has caved in to the nurses - I guess they will do the same for the teachers. Like the nurses, the teachers have rejected any move for salary increases based on productivity increase - their high principles mean that they are totally opposed to 'performance pay'. With the suggested increase in salaries a new graduate teacher would start on just under $60,000 per year.
State Government public service costs will gallop away under Labor. Watch it.