On Friday afternoon we met again to try and progress your agreement, but the negotiators government sent along weren’t allowed to genuinely negotiate!
Despite major recruitment and retention issues facing Ambulance Tasmania, they said they couldn’t deal with wages and just referred us to last week’s written offer.
For most people the wage offer is just 3.25% this year and 3% a year for the following 2 years – and a one-off payment between $1000 and $1500. The problem with a one off payment is that increases to your groceries, rent, mortgage, power etc are ongoing so we say the one-off payment should be included in your salary rate, so the benefit is ongoing.
There were productive talks on a few other matters, and these could help improve some conditions, although we’re waiting for more info, but all in all the offer is an insult when you consider cost of living increases and inflation well above 6%.
We also have massive recruitment and retention issues, an aging workforce, and other states who compete for staff beginning significant recruitment programs.
So much for the government saying they acknowledge what you’ve been through over the last 2 years when they fail at the first chance to reward you.
We will progress other conditions matters, but we’ve made it clear we don’t think you’ll accept the current offer with its wage cut in real terms compared to cost-of-living increases. We have two more weeks to finalise conditions matters and to hope the government finally listens and offers you a decent pay rise.
We’re holding membership meetings in the week beginning 24 October to discuss their offer with you and see whether you want to join other public sector workers to fight for a better deal. We’ll let you know meeting dates soon.