September 27, 2017

McGowan responsible for police pay dispute

Premier Mark McGowan is responsible for the bitter ongoing police pay dispute and no amount of sledging of Western Australian Police will change that, the State Opposition said today.

“Western Australia’s police officers are simply asking the Premier to honour his election promise of a modest 1.5 per cent pay increase,” Shadow Police Minister Peter Katsambanis said.

“Just three days before the election, Mr McGowan reaffirmed his promise to police and told voters Labor had made affordable commitments that would be met through savings in recurrent spending.

“It is unacceptable for Mr McGowan to break this promise and then lash out at Police for trying to keep him to his word.”

Acting Opposition Leader Liza Harvey said the Police Union was paying the price for not being a Labor-affiliated union.

“There were two wage negotiations in progress when McGowan won the election; one with the strongly Labor-aligned Firefighters Union of WA and one with the non-aligned WA Police Union.

“The firefighters got a 1.5 per cent wage increase the police got insults and a public smear campaign from the Premier.

“Police are frustrated by the Premier’s arrogance; the Premier’s word no longer has any currency.

“It’s clear the Premier thought he could say anything to get elected with no intention of sticking to his word.”

Ms Harvey said the Premier’s claim that denying police the pay rise he promised was part of “budget repair” were an insult.

“Figures released on Friday show the McGowan Government, in just six months, will spend
$1 billion more than anticipated in pre-budget estimates.

“It seems the Premier has no problem blowing the budget to meet some spending commitments but for reasons he’s not revealing he doesn’t want to pay our police what he promised them.

“Premier McGowan can fix this dispute today by doing what he said he would do before the election and give police a 1.5 per cent pay rise.”

The Opposition said it had every confidence WA police officers would act responsibly and not compromise public safety during the course of this unprecedented industrial action.

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