Close to a thousand Police Officers walked off the job to march at Parliament House demanding a pay rise of 1.5%.
The Police Union and its members are sticking to the 1.5% deal, rejecting the state government’s $1,000 per year wage policy offer.
Union boss George Tilbury says the Police Officers already shared the state’s financial burden with cuts in overtime, budgeting and on top of cost of living increases.
He argued that the officers are underpaid, overworked and unappreciated by the government.
“This mess will go away if Mr McGowan commits a fair and reasonable pay increase for police officers, including a 38 hour week and delivers 500 police officers on the frontline,” Mr Tilbury said.
Officers who participated in the rally chanted their dismay and booed Premier Mark McGowan as he make his case.
Despite the pressure, Premier McGowan stated that he appreciates police officers’ work and understand how difficult police duties can be.
He stressed the state cannot continue to borrow money because the next generation will pay the price.
“What that means in percentage terms is that if you are a constable you get a 1.4% increase, if you are a sergeant you get a 1% increase, if you are a commander you get a 0.75% increase each year,” The Premier said.
“I understand it’s not as much as people would’ve liked, and I understand across the public sector would’ve liked greater pay increase than that.”
“I liked to say to the broader community of Western Australia, if we do anything different, all we are doing is borrowing money, so that yourselves, your children and your grandchildren will have even more debt to pay in the future.”
Meanwhile, Opposition leaders from Liberal and the Nationals both backed the 1.5% pay increase.
Liberal Leader Dr Nahan says “a deal is a deal” and accuse Labor of breaking another election promise. On the same token, Nationals Leader Mia Davies urged Labor support the new mining royalty tax to reduce the budget bottom line.
“Your claim is just. A deal is a deal, a promise is a promise, and it is affordable if they stop spending,” Dr Nahan said.