Western Australian teachers, nurses, police officers, cleaners and public servants have been offered a six per cent wage rise over the next two years as a buffer to rising inflation.
The Western Australia government has increased its pay offer for 150,000 workers to three per cent annually for the next two years, along with an additional $2,500 cost of living payment.
Premier Mark McGowan said the move was in response to peaking inflation and would cost the budget an extra $634 million over the next four years.
“Given the current economic climate we’ve listened and reviewed our wages policy,” he wrote on social media on Sunday.
“This is a reasonable and generous policy, but also responsible in these volatile economic times.”
The changes will immediately flow through to industries that have already accepted the government’s previous 2.75 per cent pay increase offer, including teachers and public hospital doctors.
Some workers’ wages will be increased more than the three per cent annual rate, with a patient care assistant who earns just over $55,000 a year set to effectively get a 7.5 per cent wage rise over the first year.
Perth’s consumer price index jumped 1.7 per cent in the June quarter, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, pushing its annual inflation rate well above the national average to 7.4 per cent.
Health workers and other WA public servants were lobbying for a pay rise above 2.75 per cent, with some holding stop-work meetings outside Perth hospitals in recent weeks.
The McGowan government banked a $5.7 billion surplus in this year’s state budget, which included a one-off $400 electricity credit for every household.