Police fight for pay increase
POLICE in Bundaberg have joined their colleagues across the state in calling for an increase in the amount of the pay rise the government has offered them.
The state government has offered police 2.5% a year for the next three years, but the Queensland Police Union (QPU) says that is not enough.
QPU Bundaberg branch secretary David Batt said the police were only seeking pay rises that were the same as the rest of the public service.
He said in 2009 other public servants were given a 4.5% increase and 4% each year for the two years after that.
“We only want to be treated the same,” Mr Batt said.
“The 2.5% we’ve been offered is below the cost of living increase.”
Mr Batt said the low increase was not fair on the 10,000 hard working police officers looking after the public and putting their lives on the line every day.
He said negotiations among the QPU, the police service and the government were going nowhere.
Mr Batt said QPU president Ian Leavers would meet Premier Anna Bligh personally to discuss the issue.
The existing enterprise bargaining agreement expired on June 30.
Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey, a policeman for 19 years who rose to the rank of sergeant, said the role of the police was very diverse and they needed to be properly paid in line with the role they played in the community.
Mr Dempsey said the government should take into account aspects such as the shifts police were called on to work and the type of work they did.
“Having been in the police service, I know people do not go into the work because of the money, and they should not be abused because of that,” he said.
“They shouldn’t be taken for granted.”
Mr Dempsey said police work affected not only the officers, but their families had to make sacrifices as well.
“It’s more than just a job,” he said.
QPU president Mr leavers said the union was producing and compiling a statewide community information campaign to inform the public not only of the sometimes difficult, stressful yet fulfilling role that police performed, but also to explain that police were only after a fair, equitable and reasonable rise in wages.
“Our campaign will highlight that police only want an equitable wage deal to that which the Bligh government has previously given to all other Queensland government employees.” Mr Leavers said.
Police Minister Neil Roberts said police worked in very difficult and stressful circumstances.
“I agree they deserve a pay rise for the vital role they play in keeping our communities safe and secure,” he said.
Mr Roberts said the government’s offer was consistent with the government’s wages policy.
“The last enterprise bargaining package delivered a 5% pay rise each year for three years - higher than most public servants,” he said.
The package included an operational shift allowance of 21%, remote area allowances of up to $10,000 per officer and an 18% superannuation contribution from the government.