200 protest at 'unjust' pay cap
UNFAIR, unjust and un-Australian.
Lismore fire-fighter Ian Grimwood felt betrayed as he rallied yesterday in protest against NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and his plan to introduce a 2.5% cap on wage rises for public servants.
Up to two hundred public sector workers congregated in Barry Shearman Park to vent their frustrations with O’Farrell and marched in anger as they approached Lismore MP Thomas George’s office.
“I’ve been a member of the Fire Brigades Union for 19 years and this attack on public servants is unprecedented,” Mr Grimwood said.
“I’m a one-income family and I have a wife and child.
“If we can only ever get a 2.5% increase in wage, we’re behind the eight ball straight away.
“Betrayed is without a doubt the best word to describe the situation.
“The O’Farrell Government never at any stage of their election campaign forecast this kind of action, so the people of NSW have been duped into voting for him.
“The knee-capping of the Industrial Relations Commission has taken the democratic process out of arbitration.
“It’s a disgrace and I hope they realise that we’re not going to sit back and cop it.
“Non-public service workers are lucky that we have been attacked first.
“But who knows what O’Farrell has hidden in his dungeon of secrets, anyone could be next.”
Lismore MP Thomas George was disappointed with the protest action.
“I learned today that it (protest) was happening,” Mr George said.
“I met with Health Services, the Police Union and the Public Services Association before the protest.
“They all expressed appreciation that I met with them.
“People have to understand I’m happy to meet and talk with them, but I have my day planned with appointments.
“It’s a bit disappointing, but I’ve listened to the concerns and I’ll raise the issue when I’m in Sydney next week.”
Campaigns Officer for Unions New South Wales Paul Doughty was thrilled with the rally.
“I think everyone is feeling a sense of betrayal and we have some passionate people speaking here today,” he said.