NSW govt attacked over staff pay rises

·2-min read

A brawl has erupted in the NSW lower house over public sector wages after the opposition accused the government of feathering its own nest while neglecting frontline workers.

After mentioning a disability support worker on a salary of $50,000, the Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington asked why staffers close to Premier Dominic Perrottet were awarded a 10 per cent pay rise last year.

"You gave your cluster lead Chiefs of Staff a pay rise of up to 10 per cent last year, increasing the top salary band from $320,000 to $354,000," Ms Washington said on Tuesday.

"Why is it premier that everyone associated with your government is getting a massive pay rise while you continue to hold tens of thousands of frontline and essential workers to two and a half per cent wage cap?"

It follows months of industrial action by nurses, transport workers and teachers, as public sector workers seek pay rises over the current cap of 2.5 per cent.

The premier accused Labor of not having a position on public sector wages, saying it was not "a fair fight".

"Have the integrity. You sit there, day in, day out, and our position is clear," the premier said, as he was shouted at from across the chamber.

"You would have more credibility if you actually had a position. I'm open to debate you on it, but have a position."

The premier accused the opposition of publicly campaigning with the nurses and teachers' unions without being genuine.

"It's because we know in a mature government, we will always get the balance right," he added.

The past ten years of wages capped at 2.5 per cent had seen salaries continue to grow over those in the private sector, and above the consumer price index, the premier said.

Mr Perrottet repeated claims the opposition was in an alliance with the unions to organise strikes, suggesting Labor Leader Chris Minns disclose how many meetings he had taken with Unions NSW.

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