ACT News


Unions prepare to step up pay action

Angry ACT public service union representatives could take their pay dispute to the floor of Labor's annual conference if the territory government fails to make an improved offer in the next two weeks.

ACT government enterprise bargaining agreements expired at the end of last month.

Union members have refused to accept a pay increase offer from the Labor government of 2 per cent for each of the next four years.

The nurses' union branded the offer "insulting'' and several unions have begun the processes needed to enable members to undertake protected industrial action.

Unions will meet next week to discuss whether to use the ACT Labor Party branch conference next weekend as a platform protest against the government's offer.

Unions that are formally affiliated to the party could raise the matter from the conference floor or boycott the event altogether.


One union activist said the event would turn into a "public showdown'' if the government did not make a reasonable pay offer to public servants. Other unionists are more confident about the likelihood of agreements being reached over the next few weeks without industrial action.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, pictured, has said the 2 per cent pay offer has no strings attached but if public servants want more they will need to suggest savings and productivity improvements.

Ms Gallagher said on Tuesday she hoped an agreement could be reached soon. "The ACT government will continue to bargain in good faith to reach an agreed outcome with the unions as soon as possible,'' she said in a statement.

"We remain committed to a fully funded, no-job-loss offer which is modest but affordable. If this is not agreeable to the unions then the government looks forward to receiving their submissions on where savings could be made to deliver an increased offer.''


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