The Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, has delivered a bizarre and belligerent ultimatum to public sector unions demanding they deliver a proposal he likes within two weeks or he will just proceed with cutting and burning jobs, Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.
“The Hodgman regime’s refusal to acknowledge that the reasonable and respectful thing to do is to enter into good faith negotiations with public sector unions is gobsmacking,” Mr Booth said.
“Mr Gutwein’s petulant and churlish delivery of an ultimatum that the unions have two weeks to provide an alternative but without any commitment to then discuss that offer, looks deliberately designed to set the unions up for failure and escalate conflict.”
“The refusal to enter into good-faith negotiations with the public sector union also treats the Legislative Council with contempt given that Chamber voted to suspend debate on the government’s wage freeze Bill to encourage negotiations.”
“Peter Gutwein and Will Hodgman have to face up to the fact that their proposed wage freeze was not flagged at the March state election, and in the absence of anything remotely like a mandate, the responsible and mature action for the government to take is to sit down and negotiate with the representatives of those who will be affected.”
“Treasurer Gutwein needs to recognise that the time for behaving like a spoilt brat being forced to share is long gone, and instead live up to the responsibility of his office and issue an addendum to his Ministerial statement committing to enter into good-faith negotiations with public sector unions,” Mr Booth said.