The Greens are seeking crossbench support for an amendment to the O'Farrell government's changes to the workers compensation scheme which would see firefighters and paramedics receive the same protections as police and other emergency services personnel.
Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge said:
NSW Premier Barr O'Farrell's comments on ABC radio regarding the retrospectivity of the government's amendments to the NSW workers compensation scheme are misleading, according to Greens NSW Industrial Relations spokesperson David Shoebridge.
The Greens will be moving in the NSW parliament this week to condemn the changes at Fairfax that threaten the quality and independence of news reporting and current affairs in this state.
The NSW Upper House unanimously called on Fairfax management to abandon its plans to outsource local jobs in the Hunter and Illawarra regions to New Zealand.
Dr Kaye, who moved the motion, said: "The NSW Upper House has today thrown its support behind Fairfax workers in their struggle against management's outsourcing plans.
Not content with slashing public sector wages and conditions and introducing punitive measures designed to undermine the union movement in NSW, the O'Farrell government is now preparing to cut a further 10,000 jobs.
The O'Farrell government this morning refused to allow a vote in the Upper House on a Greens motion of solidarity with the Fairfax staff who have walked off the job in protest at management's decision to outsource 66 local jobs to New Zealand (See motion below).
The lack of funds put aside in the NSW budget to fund the outcomes of the ASU's equal pay case means that if the government does contribute to any pay rise that is awarded, then the projected NSW budget surplus will simply disappear.
"Either the government is being deceitful about its surplus, or it has abandoned any commitment to fund pay equity," Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge said.
"The government has projected surpluses from 2013 onwards of an average $200 million per annum. But there is no allowance in this budget to fund the outcome of the equal pay case.
"These figures mean that something has to give and there is a real concern amongst the community services sector that it will be equal pay for women in the community sector.
The government has been forced by a motion moved by the Greens in the NSW Upper House to shut the parliament to allow parliamentary staff and members to protest the cuts on public sector wages and conditions.
Greens NSW MP and Industrial Relations spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
"The Government has been forced into a humiliating backdown today.
"In a testament to the political sensitivity of this attack on the public sector, the O'Farrell government shut the upper house from midday to 2:30pm.
"The people who work for the NSW Parliament are some of the hardest working people in NSW. They should be able to protest when their wages and conditions are being threatened.
"Barry O'Farrell and the Coalition have seized control of public sector wages and conditions and capped wages at a rate less than inflation.
"The government's regime means an effective pay cut for the hundreds of thousands of teachers, nurses, fire-fighters and other public sector workers in NSW.
The Minister's rhetoric about deploying resources to the front line is a thinly veiled excuse to slash the Health budget, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye ('150 jobs slashed, $80m saved in health restructure', SMH, 25 August, page 5 http://bit.ly/pLsEWf).
Dr Kaye said: "Health Minister Jillian Skinner has not only 'deleted' jobs and destroyed 150 careers. She has also removed both the central and cluster support needed to make the public health system run effectively and efficiently.
"Jobs, expertise and the economies of scale are being tossed out to pursue budget cuts and the Coalition's obsession with local decision making.
"The clusters were created after extensive consultation with clinicians, health experts and the community. The Minister is ignoring the advice that there are economies of scale at the regional level by shoe-horning all support services into the districts.