3 November 2011
The Coalition must return to the table and negotiate in good faith with the Police Association over plans to slash police death and disability payments. Policing is dangerous work and their disability benefits must
NSW Greens Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“We expect police to place themselves in harm's way on an almost daily basis when at work, in return the government must ensure they are fully protected when they are injured.
"Police have been willing to negotiate in good faith with the Minister on disability benefits, but the Minister has walked away from the negotiating table.
“There is scope to restructure death and disability benefits to encourage injured police to remain at work, but this must not come at the cost of fair benefits.
"Police put their welfare on the line in the course of their duty and the government must ensure that their disability benefits protect them and their families if they are injured on duty.
“This is yet another attack by the O’Farrell government on the wages and conditions of public sector workers.
“There is a pattern developing now of the O’Farrell government slashing public sector benefits with little if any attempt to consult in good faith. Police and other public sector workers deserve better," David Shoebridge said.
Greens candidate for the Clarence by-election, Janet Cavanaugh, endorsed these comments and noted that this move is not logical when the population of the Clarence is crying out for more police to be stationed in the area, including 24 hour policing in Casino and Yamba.
Ms Cavanaugh said: "To fill these vacancies and deliver more services on the ground, police need ongoing support from the Government in terms of wages and conditions to make the job attractive."
"It just doesn't make sense to undermine these conditions and the morale of the police service, while the community is calling out for more police."
*For Media Comment: David Shoebridge: 0408 113 952
* Janet Cavanaugh: 0429 479 968