Budget lays another pillar in rebuilding essential workforce

Unions NSW

The State Budget handed down today lays another pillar in rebuilding the essential workforce – a stark contrast to the cuts and austerity preferred by the Liberals and Nationals, Unions NSW said.

“Today we have made solid progress on the path to rebuilding our essential workforce,” said Mark Morey, Secretary of Unions NSW. “The Liberals have established a clear choice. If we return to their path of wage suppression it means classrooms without teachers, hospitals without health workers and triple 0 calls going unanswered.

“That was the experience of the last decade and that is what we will return to if the Liberals and Nationals achieve their wish. They want to snuff out bargaining and prevent wages that reflect skills, productivity and the cost of living.

“When the Liberals and Nationals hyperventilate about the Budget, they should answer a basic question: how would they solve the deep worker shortages they created in our hospitals, schools, community and emergency services? NSW deserves better.”

The Government’s commitment to easing the housing crisis is also strongly endorsed by working people. “Housing is the hungry beast devouring the pay packets of firefighters, health workers, police and other essential workers. Through its multi-billion dollar commitment to key worker and social housing along with its focus on expanding both the quality and supply of homes in the broader rental market, the Government has demonstrated it is using all the levers at its disposal to ease the pressure. The focus on providing safe homes for women and children fleeing violence is especially welcome.”

The Government’s commitment to rebuilding TAFE is essential to giving NSW the skilled workforce needed to navigate difficult challenges such as the ageing population and the energy transition. “The Liberals and Nationals decimated TAFE just when we needed it most,” Morey said. “This investment in TAFE and the conversion of 500 casual teachers to permanent employment sows the seeds of future prosperity, especially in regional NSW.”

Morey also commended the NSW Government for its commitment to strengthen protections against silicosis. “With the new commitment to resource SafeWork NSW we expect to see strong compliance with the new national ban on the use, supply and manufacture of engineered stone.”

/Public Release.