The PSA/CPSU NSW has met with two candidates running for the seat of Clarence in the NSW state election to be held in March 2023.
Labor candidate; Leon Ankersmit
Members of the PSA/CPSUNSW’s North Coast Local Campaign Action Group; PSA Delegate Janet Cavanaugh and PSA Regional Organiser Mik Smart met with Labor candidate Leon Ankersmit in November 2022.
Dr Ankersmit spoke of his support for the NSW Public Sector and acknowledged that the removal of the current highly restrictive wage cap could only improve the conditions for thousands of public servants and provide a significant financial injection to the local economy. Dr Ankersmit acknowledged that while as “only one person he could not personally remove the wage cap, he would take the request to the senior members of the party”. It needs to be noted that the leader of the Labor Party, Chris Minns, has publicly committed to remove the Wages Cap.
Mr Ankersmit also acknowledged the PSA/CPSUNSW’s current fight with Serco to have wages and conditions improved for PSA/CPSUNSW members employed at the Clarence Correctional Centre, indicating that his vison for the area is to seek increased services and industry, with proper wage provision for employees.
Nationals candidate: Richie Williamson
As well as meeting with the Labor candidate, members of the PSA/CPSUNSW’s North Coast Local Campaign Action Group, met with Richie Williamson in Grafton.
Mr Williamson is the Nationals candidate for the seat of Clarence in the upcoming NSW state election, and a former mayor of the Clarence Valley.
The meeting with Mr Williamson covered some of the current PSA campaigns including the PSA’s fight to have the wages cap for the Public Sector removed. Mr Williamson noted that both of his parents were public servants, as is his wife, and identified the Public Sector as still the largest employer in the Clarence Valley, despite job losses to Coffs Harbour. While Mr Williamson stated his support for the Public Sector and recognised the importance for their work, he stopped short of making any commitment to have the wages cap removed. It is worth noting that the National Party did vote for the introduction to the Wages Cap in 2011.
The delegation asked Mr Williamson whether he supported the PSA/CPSUNSW’s fight with Serco to have wages and conditions improved for members employed at the Clarence Correctional Centre. Mr Williamson agreed that workers were being grossly underpaid by Serco but he would not be further drawn on his position of how this should be addressed.