Research reveals shrinking incomes as NSW PS workers unite to smash pay cap

PUBLIC SECTOR workers will meet today to plan industrial and political action as a new report reveals they will be on average $6156 worse off over the next three years if wages are not increased.

The report, Wage norms and the link to public sector salary caps, examines the escalating cost of living and retention crisis for NSW public sector salary workers. Incomes will shrink between $1000 and $1800 per year if inflation continues as forecast and the 2.5 percent wage cap is maintained. 

The report’s key findings reveal the single largest pay-boosting measure the NSW Government can take, for both public and private sector workers, is abolishing the public sector pay cap. This is because higher public sector wages will have a domino effect lifting wages across the economy.

This financial year a registered nurse will lose $1986, a year 2 paramedic will lose $2,015, a qualified firefighter will lose $2,216, a teacher on a band-2 salary will be $2509 worse off and a NSW Police Senior Constable will lose $2624. 

Unions NSW secretary Mark Morey said it was "disgraceful some of our most important workers are being punished by the NSW Government".

“Our essential workers saved countless lives and kept the state running throughout the most difficult two years in recent memory. When the pandemic was worst they received a paltry 0.3 percent, despite working with limited protective equipment and before vaccines were rolled out,” Mr Morey said.

“Now as the cost of living surges 5.1 percent and higher they are being asked to accept a pay cut. That’s an odd way to thank people who have risked their lives for the rest of us.

“Any wage movement below inflation is a pay cut.” 

Today unions will call on the NSW Government to alleviate this crisis in its upcoming budget by:

  • Fixing staff shortages and excessive workloads across the public service;
  • Allowing the public service to negotiate pay rises in line with the cost of living;
  • Provide secure jobs, and workplace upskilling;
  • Guarantee ‘Same Job, Same Pay’ across all contracts awarded by the NSW Government; and
  • Rule out further privatisation of NSW essential services. 

“If Premier Perrottet refuses to adequately address these issues, unions will proceed with escalating industrial action across the NSW public sector,” Mr Morey said.

Essential Workers Deserve Better gathering will be held at 10am on Sunday, June 5, at NSW Trades Hall, 4/10 Goulburn St, Sydney.


Wage norms and the link to public sector salary caps (Link to report).



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