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Mad as Hell

By John Hargreaves - 10 November 2014 51

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As Shaun Micallef says in his program title, I’m mad as hell!

Posters will accuse me of being biased and that’s just bad luck. I have nothing to gain from my outrage on this subject so let’s get that out of the way pronto.

As if the Government doesn’t insult the servicemen and women enough by offering them a pay rise of way below inflation, they are now offering, yes offering, nothing to their own employees, in the latest round of EBA bargaining, after delaying the discussions interminably.

They still want offsets though! Offsets for what? They say, let’s have productivity increases but we’re not going to pass any savings or productivity increases on to those who deliver them!

I’ve heard of ambit claims but a zero pay increase is just about the limit.

The CPSU and other unions are rightly upset on behalf of its members. It was good to see the members of the CPSU flex their muscles in Garema Place.

Guerrilla warfare by not answering phones; not doing some correspondence is ok to a point. Black listing any ministerial support, any support for senior departmental executives will have just as effective an outcome. It may come to strike action but look out for balaclavas and attack dogs. Remember Mr Abbott worked with Peter Reith!

But I’m not sure that the private sector is supportive of their public sector colleagues in this war.
They talk about shiny bums, fat cats and lazy bureaucrats. They don’t acknowledge that these are the same people who use their wages to keep them in business, especially small business. Small and medium business needs to remember that they are in a vulnerable slot in the economic food chain.

I’m also not sure that the general public are on board with the fight either. This calls for action.
Because, if the government gets away with this theft of workers’ rights and conditions, the private sector will be next. The business mandarins will take heart that they too can offer zero wage increases while putting up their prices and pay packets.

Zed Seselja says that addressing the budget crisis left by Labor is more important than pay rises for ordinary families. What? We are not in a budget crisis. This fallacy has been blown away ages ago.

We can spend billions blowing people up in the Middle East but we can’t afford to offer the lower paid public service family some hedge against the inflation which has been caused in recent times by price increases far more than wage increases.

Where is Senator Seselja’s loyalty? Where it has been always – to Zed Seselja. He won’t ever get a ministry in an Abbott government while he sticks up for the predominant employment group in his electorate of the ACT.

Interesting that at least Gary Humphries tried to buffer the effects of the Howard government’s assault on Canberra! With little effect but at least he tried. His successor doesn’t even try!

Now for those who accuse me of self-interest or political bias… I got a pension increase last time of a net near nothing. I had a whinge and got on with it. But I don’t have a family to support. I don’t have dependent costs such as school fees and kids’ sporting costs. I don’t have a large family with a lot of hungry mouths to feed. My daughter didn’t get preferential treatment with scholarships either!

So if there is going to be a zero wage increase let there be zero price increases as well. Like this is going to happen! Not!

I’d like to see the government become reasonable about a decent and legitimate wage increase and in lieu of this real industrial action – work to rule and national street marches.

Just let me know where and when and I’m in! I’m mad as hell!

What’s Your opinion?


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51 Responses to
Mad as Hell
dungfungus 8:45 pm 10 Nov 14

Mysteryman said :

“Because, if the government gets away with this theft of workers’ rights and conditions…”

It’s not theft, John. A smaller than desired pay increase is STILL A PAY INCREASE. Only you could equate it with theft. Your argument, again, contains so much emotive language it’s almost impossible to take seriously.

“We are not in a budget crisis. This fallacy has been blown away ages ago.”

Where/when was it “blown away”? Pro tip: if you can’t back up a claim, don’t make the claim. Stick to ACTUAL facts.

John will discover the ramifications of the budget crisis the day his pension doesn’t make it to his bank account.

HiddenDragon 5:55 pm 10 Nov 14

I believe similar things – i.e. sub-CPI increases, and for a period, no increase at all – occurred in the Hawke/Keating era. That would have been done under the auspices of the Accord, and in some cases, there may have been a trade-off for enhanced government spending in other areas, such as on welfare benefits. But the latter, of course, may not have been much help to public sector workers facing rising living costs.

As others have pointed out, this is really just a case of a remarkably long stretch of good times coming to an end, and public sector workers starting to face the reality that many in the private sector have been dealing with for some time.

dungfungus 4:12 pm 10 Nov 14

Canberroid said :

Ghettosmurf87 said :

dungfungus said :

Their seems to be a lot of bitterness and hate in your life John.
What is the problem with you Labor people?
Are you natural haters or do you work on it?

And yet no one can match the smothering negativity that flows thickly like bile from your posts Dungers

Well said.

Another gall stone in the bile duct of opinion.

Mysteryman 3:20 pm 10 Nov 14

Antagonist said :

Mysteryman said :

“Because, if the government gets away with this theft of workers’ rights and conditions…”

It’s not theft, John. A smaller than desired pay increase is STILL A PAY INCREASE. Only you could equate it with theft. Your argument, again, contains so much emotive language it’s almost impossible to take seriously.

I love to see public servants get paycuts too, but that is more for my own sadistic enjoyment of other peoples misery. If inflation is 2% and I get a 1% pay increase, my effective income increase is minus 1%. That is an effective pay cut. It is not a difficult concept to grasp, and is very logical (not emotive).

Explain how it’s theft. Please. Because that’s the point you’ve totally ignored.

chewy14 2:58 pm 10 Nov 14

Another silly biased political rant from Hargreaves.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with an employer offering their staff a zero percent pay increase, the same as there is absolutely nothing wrong with employees asking for twelve percent.

Staff are free to reject the offer and seek employment elsewhere.

The only problem I see with these negotiations is that there will most likely be a reduction in the level and quality of services offered by the public service for little gain. There’s better ways of ensuring efficient provision of services than this sledgehammer approach that affects good and productive employees just as much as it affects the bad and unproductive ones.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 2:48 pm 10 Nov 14

In good times people see more than CPI increases, and they have greater opportunities for advancement. In lean times they see little or no increases, and opportunity for advancement is reduced.

It’s the same as the private sector, except that public servants have far more job security and non monetary benefits (flexibility, leave, training, etc) than most private sector workers.

Antagonist 2:07 pm 10 Nov 14

Mysteryman said :

“Because, if the government gets away with this theft of workers’ rights and conditions…”

It’s not theft, John. A smaller than desired pay increase is STILL A PAY INCREASE. Only you could equate it with theft. Your argument, again, contains so much emotive language it’s almost impossible to take seriously.

I love to see public servants get paycuts too, but that is more for my own sadistic enjoyment of other peoples misery. If inflation is 2% and I get a 1% pay increase, my effective income increase is minus 1%. That is an effective pay cut. It is not a difficult concept to grasp, and is very logical (not emotive).

Canberroid 1:58 pm 10 Nov 14

Mysteryman said :

“Because, if the government gets away with this theft of workers’ rights and conditions…”

It’s not theft, John. A smaller than desired pay increase is STILL A PAY INCREASE. Only you could equate it with theft. Your argument, again, contains so much emotive language it’s almost impossible to take seriously.

There is a lot more to workers’ rights and conditions than just the dollar amount (and that is without discussing the real value of that dollar amount given inflation).

Canberroid 1:46 pm 10 Nov 14

Ghettosmurf87 said :

dungfungus said :

Their seems to be a lot of bitterness and hate in your life John.
What is the problem with you Labor people?
Are you natural haters or do you work on it?

And yet no one can match the smothering negativity that flows thickly like bile from your posts Dungers

Well said.

dungfungus 1:44 pm 10 Nov 14

Ghettosmurf87 said :

dungfungus said :

Their seems to be a lot of bitterness and hate in your life John.
What is the problem with you Labor people?
Are you natural haters or do you work on it?

And yet no one can match the smothering negativity that flows thickly like bile from your posts Dungers

I think you just did.

Mysteryman 1:39 pm 10 Nov 14

“Because, if the government gets away with this theft of workers’ rights and conditions…”

It’s not theft, John. A smaller than desired pay increase is STILL A PAY INCREASE. Only you could equate it with theft. Your argument, again, contains so much emotive language it’s almost impossible to take seriously.

“We are not in a budget crisis. This fallacy has been blown away ages ago.”

Where/when was it “blown away”? Pro tip: if you can’t back up a claim, don’t make the claim. Stick to ACTUAL facts.

FHW 1:06 pm 10 Nov 14

In response to:
“Because, if the government gets away with this theft of workers’ rights and conditions, the private sector will be next. The business mandarins will take heart that they too can offer zero wage increases while putting up their prices and pay packets.”

Too late. I (and many other people who work with me) already received a zero pay rise this year. In fact, we received a pay cut due to the superannuation changes of 0.25%. Companies can do this apparently!

Ghettosmurf87 12:05 pm 10 Nov 14

dungfungus said :

Their seems to be a lot of bitterness and hate in your life John.
What is the problem with you Labor people?
Are you natural haters or do you work on it?

And yet no one can match the smothering negativity that flows thickly like bile from your posts Dungers

watto23 11:54 am 10 Nov 14

I have some sympathy towards service people and wages, but not towards public servants and wages, many of whom fail to realise they’ve been on an extremely good wicket for a long time and that even getting a CPI increase is a struggle in private sector in Canberra. That said I think using diggers as a sympathy card to get a better payrise is also wrong.

That said the federal government can only blame labor for so long. Personally, I feel the governments of the past 20 years squandered a very good opportunity to make this country even better. Instead all they did was look after their own re-election and not what was best for the country as a whole, especially on an infrastructure level.

dungfungus 10:53 am 10 Nov 14

Their seems to be a lot of bitterness and hate in your life John.
What is the problem with you Labor people?
Are you natural haters or do you work on it?

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