United Voice delegates representing thousands of essential staff from schools and hospitals are meeting this morning to discuss taking industrial action after Colin Barnett broke his word.
The State Government’s new Workplace Reform Bill breaks a promise the Premier made to staff in their contracts, which he signed earlier this year.
United Voice WA Secretary Carolyn Smith said staff had been lied to regarding their conditions of employment.
“He promised that there would be no forced redundancies. He promised that staff would not be sent to work for a private contractor in the event of their job being cut, and that wages would be maintained.”
“Last September in Parliament Mr Barnett said ‘no one is going to be losing their job, no one is going to be laid off’.
“Now the Premier has written a new law that allows him to walk away from his commitment.
“He has broken his word to his own employees.
“If the Premier had signed a legal agreement with big business he wouldn’t dream of breaking his promise.
“When you and I sign a contract we don’t get to write a law that allows us to walk away from it. And neither should he.
“When a Premier can’t keep his promise to you, who can he keep his word to? If he gets away with this, what’s next?
“Staff in schools and hospitals fought hard to ensure the Premier promised not to privatise existing jobs.
“If he gets away with breaking this promise, what’s stopping him breaking that one as well?
Ms Smith expected delegates would vote in favour of taking action next week, as they felt their options were limited.
“They’re angry. And they should be. Their message to the Premier is going to be loud and clear.
“Colin, keep your word.”