The state government is hoping a two-year pay deal with 16,000 health sector workers will set a precedent for other public sector workers including prison officers and nurses as it tries to contain spending growth in the lead-up to next year's election.
The state government is hoping a two-year pay deal with 16,000 health sector workers will set a precedent for other public sector workers, including prison officers and nurses, as it tries to contain spending growth in the lead-up to next year's election.
About 16,000 workers in the health sector will receive pay rises of 1.5 per cent per annum under the two-year deal agreed between the state government and the Health Services Union WA.
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the agreement was the result of a collaborative and consultative approach, with workers to receive a 1.5 per cent increase per year for two years.
The wage increase will be awarded to all health professionals, other than doctors and nurses, working for the state government in public hospitals and health services.
It includes physiotherapists, medical scientists, administration, technical staff and assistants.
“Because in-principle agreement was reached before the previous agreement ceased on June 30, the agreed increase was able to begin immediately on July 1,” Mr Mischin said.
“I am pleased the negotiations have concluded, consistent with the state government’s wages policy.
“In the context of public sector salary budgets, wages outcomes limited to 1.5 per cent are necessary.”
While the HSUWA had previously condemned the state government’s planned 1.5 per cent cap on pay rises, secretary Daniel Hill said union members reconsidered the proposal given the economic circumstances of the state.
“The wages outcome is modest in comparison to what members have achieved over the last 10 years, however members have decided this time around that in view of the economic circumstances of the state, government wages policy, and the level of inflation, that 1.5 per cent per annum for two years is acceptable,” he said.
“That has been on the basis of some improvements in two key areas in conditions of employment; one on the management of fixed term contract and secure employment, and second there are new provisions to deal with workflow management.
“About 88 per cent of members voted in favour of accepting the offer, so it was fairly unanimous.”
Health Minister John Day said while wage growth was being managed responsibly, pay rises allowed under the government’s wages policy were still higher than the current inflation rate.
“I encourage all unions to acknowledge the economic situation and respond appropriately,” he said.
“I stand right behind our hard working and dedicated staff across the health system, and I believe all Western Australians are thankful for their commitment to delivering quality care.’’