Senators clash over public sector wages
There were heated exchanges in the Senate this morning on the matter of wages in the public sector.
Opposition members wanted to know the state of negotiations between the government and trade unions which have not yet signed onto the wage restraint.
They also wanted to know if unions which have already signed would benefit from any adjustment which may be granted to those who are still in negotiation.
Twenty-six unions representing public sector groups have signed onto the Government’s wage restraint.
Negotiations are still being held with nine other groups.
The Leader of Government Business Senator A.J. Nicholson insisted that the opposition should direct its follow up questions elsewhere.
However opposition members Robert Montague and Dr Christopher Tufton objected to that position and insisted that their concerns be addressed.
The leader of government business, however, would not be moved.
Senator Nicholson stressed that the question being asked were misplaced and should be redirected to the relevant authority.
Earlier, Senator Nicholson indicated that there has been no increase to government-paid workers including parliamentarians and Cabinet members since 2009.
He was responding to questions posed weeks ago by Senator Montague.
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