Fining and punishing striking workers won’t fix NSW’s problems 

The Public Service Association has today slammed the NSW Government’s plan to hit striking workers with draconian fines, with the union emphasising that shooting the messengers won’t fix the state’s many problems.

Minister for Employee Relations Damien Tudehope today announced he would increase the maximum penalties for striking in response to the industrial unrest created by his government.

Public Service Association of NSW General Secretary, Stewart Little, said the government had created the problem by mismanaging public services and grabbing power from the independent Industrial Relations Commission.

“The state government created this situation when they snatched power from the independent Industrial Relations Commission, which has successfully managed industrial issues for decades,” Mr Little said.

“This government has mismanaged and underfunded public services. It has sacked and mistreated frontline workers. It’s spent a decade lighting a hundred separate bin fires across the state and now Damien Tudehope reckons he can bully frontline workers into staying silent about them.

“Public sector workers have a deep sense of public duty and they don’t strike lightly. They’ll only take industrial action when a government has mismanaged things to the point of crisis.

“If Damien Tudehope reckons he can shoot the messenger he’s mistaken.

“New South Wales is already one of only a few democracies on earth where workers get fined for exercising the human right to strike. The fact this government thinks it’s now appropriate to tighten the screws on workers speaks volumes.”

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