The West

Legislation that public sector unions fear paves the way for large scale terminations comes into effect in Western Australia on Tuesday.

The Liberal state government, however, says the Workforce Reform Act 2014 will only provide for the involuntary severance of public servants as a means of last resort.

The amended bill will require the WA Industrial Relations Commission to consider, when making decisions, the government's public sector wages policy and the state's financial position.

The wages policy has seen police and firefighters accept an inflation-capped salary increase over the next three years.

But the Health Services Union WA and Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) were outraged last week when the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal granted backbenchers a wage boost higher than projected inflation in the state - 3.8 per cent - lifting the base annual salary for a member of parliament to $154,233.

Both unions are yet to accept their offer.

The health workers have vowed to continue low-level industrial action until they get a better proposal while the CPSU is also concerned about the bill's unprecedented power to terminate public servants.

This legislation denies public servants the capacity to take termination matters to a state or federal independent umpire if they believe the redundancy is not genuine or they believe that they are actually being unfairly dismissed, the CPSU said in an online petition set up last year to revoke the bill.

The new financial year also brings a raft of higher fees and charges for households.

Some of the biggest hikes are for motor vehicle licensing, public transport, water, electricity and sewerage.

And not only is the cost of living going up, but also the cost of death.

From 2014/15, cemetery board charges for burial plots go up by 3.9 per cent.


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