SA public servants intensify action


SA public servants intensify action

By Melanie Sjoberg

ADELAIDE — Two hundred state public servants walked off the job on March 4 in response to the standing down of two Public Service Association (PSA) members over their participation in industrial action.

PSA members in the Land Titles Office have banned the processing of housing and land settlements as part of a public sector campaign to force the government to deliver decent wage increases. When management sacked two female part-time workers who refused to process settlements, 150 PSA members in the building walked out.

As they marched through the city, they were joined by other PSA members who then occupied the foyer of Parliament House for two hours to demand Liberal premier John Olsen speak to them.

Public sector unions have threatened to organise a combined strike this month if the government fails to negotiate. The Australian Education Union, Miscellaneous Workers Union and Metropolitan Firefighters Union are all struggling against an intransigent government.

In an attempt to undermine public support for the unions, the government has sent a letter to every household in SA advising of a new electricity tax of $186 per household, supposedly to offset its failure to privatise the state electricity utility and to pay for the public sector wage claims.