At the centrepiece of Labor’s campaign platform was their commitment to scrap the public sector wage cap.
The promise was intended to appeal to the nearly 400,000 public sector workers in NSW during a time of record inflation and interest rate hikes.
It also followed the ‘year of the strike’ in 2022 where teachers and nurses took industrial action time and time again.
Although the policy doesn’t mean an automatic pay rise, it means there’s no legislative ceiling stopping essential workers getting more than a 3 per cent pay rise.
This morning Minns told 2GB he could meet with the relevant worker unions as early as this week to discuss mid-year agreements coming up.
“We’re going into these negotiations with economic principles in mind, but there is an opportunity to talk about what we can do in New South Wales and have a genuine negotiation.”
“Every other state in Australia doesn’t have a wages cap, we think we can get a sensible resolution, and we’ve got to start that process. “
Incoming Labor minister Penny Sharpe told ABC Radio Sydney she isn’t sure how much it will cost to give the state’s public servants a payrise.
“Our budget position is around four to five billion dollars better than what the government had ended up with, so we’ve got some room to move there,” she says.
June looms as the first test of the new government’s negotiating mettle, when the Nurses and Midwives Association will try to smash out a new award.
General Secretary Shaye Candish wants a seven per cent pay rise.
Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos says the sectors is in the midst of the “worst crisis in living memory”.
“The defeat of the Perrottet Government puts an end to the neglect and denial which has left our schools and TAFE colleges in a state of crisis,” he said.