A PAY rise offer to West Australian police officers has been labelled disrespectful and swiftly rejected by their union.
Under the state government’s proposal, the $1000 a year pay boost would take the entry-level constable wage to $75,284 and the pay for an inspector to $142,233.
Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said the offer was fair, reasonable and in line with the government’s four-year public sector wages policy which also includes teachers, nurses and general staff.
But WA Police Union president Harry Arnott said it represented a cut in real wages once inflation was taken into account.
“We have bargained in good faith and endeavoured to work with government to find a mutually beneficial agreement,” Mr Arnott said.
“If this is their best effort then it’s not worth the paper it is printed on.”
The union’s board unanimously rejected the offer on Wednesday, describing it as completely inappropriate.
“Our next step is to file in the WA Industrial Relations Commission seeking its assistance and we will move through the process from there,” Mr Arnott said.
Public safety would not be compromised during the dispute, he added.
Premier Mark McGowan said the government would not budge on the pay offer but was willing to consider other things the union might want.
Opposition police spokesman Peter Katsambanis said given the state budget was now in surplus, offering such a small pay increase was disgraceful.
“For our police officers serving in regional WA it will mean they continue to be out of pocket due to steep cost of living increases and the rent increases for government regional housing,” he said.