Public servants resolved to fight
PUBLIC servants in Lismore joined their colleagues across New South Wales in agreeing on an "ongoing political and industrial campaign" against job cuts and changes in employment conditions by the O'Farrell government.
More than 200 public servants stopped working for four hours last Monday and met at the Star Court Theatre in Lismore to join a state-wide meeting of the Public Service Association (PSA) via video-link.
PSA Far North Coast organiser John Campbell said that a timetable of activities will be announced in the next two weeks "as we need to coordinate public servants from Tweed to Grafton".
Unions NSW secretary Mark Lennon urged public servants to use social media and word of mouth to "spread the word around those who stayed working today, your friends and families. Ask them to get involved at a local level".
Mr Lennon also urged them to participate using the smartphone app Local Unions or via the website localunions.org.au.
Mark Lennon called on the NSW Government to "withdraw its application for a new and diminished Crown employees Conditions Award in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission".
The resolution passed unanimously also asked the NSW Government to halt job cuts in the public sector and restore the 'no forced redundancies' policy.
The workers' body also demanded Premier O'Farrell to "restore the power of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission to award fair wage rises without the artificial imposition of a 2.5% cap".
NSW Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Mike Baird was disappointed that public sector workers proceeded with industrial action despite being ordered by the Industrial Relations Commission to call off the planned stop work meeting last Monday.
"It's very disappointing that the Public Service Association decided to ignore the independent ruling by the Industrial Relations Commission and proceed with industrial action today," Mr Baird said. "Quite frankly, the decision to inconvenience the public through this disruption of public service is completely unwarranted.
"The NSW Government is paying a minimum 2.5% wage increase which is currently above inflation.
"This is both fair for public servants and affordable for the State."