The Liberal government’s plans to freeze workers’ wages will hit a roadblock in the NSW Upper House with plans by the Greens and the crossbench to reverse any Government pay freeze.

The Greens will be moving a disallowance motion to reverse any pay freeze that the Treasurer seeks to impose. 

The only viable path for the Treasurer to impose a public sector pay-freeze is by using the regulation-making powers under s146C of the Industrial relations Act. Any such regulation is able to be “disallowed” by a majority vote in either the Upper or Lower House of Parliament. While the Government has a slim majority in the Lower House, it is well short of a majority in the Upper House.

These measures will protect the wages and conditions of the hard-working nurses, paramedics, firefighters and other workers who have kept this state running during the pandemic.

Greens MP and spokesperson for workers rights David Shoebridge said:

The Greens will never support a pay freeze for public sector workers.

“It is obscene that the same government that has handed the police commissioner and 87,000 pay rise wants to freeze the wages of public sector workers. 

“The Greens would support a pay freeze for highly paid public servants like MPs and reserve the senior executive wages rises but we will never support a real cut to workers wages.

“Inflation has just been revised to 2.2 percent, a five and a half year high. Wage freezes will mean a pay cut for over 400,000 workers.

“Cutting the pay of the nurses, teachers, transport workers and cleaners who we relied upon to get us through the pandemic is not only cruel it also makes no economic sense.

“The public sector wage caps in place for ten years have reduced consumer spending by billions. Now in the face of an economic crisis the government wants to cut the pay of tens of thousands of public sector workers and further depress the economy.

“This is not about job creation, this is an ideological attack from the Coalition who’s real plan is to make ordinary workers pay for COVID-19 pandemic,”said Mr Shoebridge.