The NSW Labor Opposition has slammed Premier Gladys Berejiklian for being out of touch after she signed off on six-figure pay rises for senior bureaucrats, and spent half a million dollars on top end of town recruitment consultants.
The Premier used her discretion in the Remuneration Tribunal to approve $100,000-plus pay rises for the new Head of Treasury, Michael Pratt and Head of Projects at Infrastructure NSW, David Riches.
Mr Pratt’s annual salary is now $563,750 and his total remuneration package could reach $631,400 – that is $108,900 or 21 per cent higher than the maximum band for the Secretary level.
Mr Riches’ annual salary package is now $576,345 – that is $124,095 or 27 per cent higher than the maximum band for the Deputy Secretary level.
Meanwhile wages growth for NSW continues to remain at record lows of 2.1 per cent and the rest of the NSW public service is subject to a 2.5 per cent wages cap.
The Premier’s outrageous pay rises come as documents reveal her government paid $544,500 to a high-end recruitment firm – which includes a former Nationals minister as a senior partner - to lure people from the private sector with fat salaries.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park
“The cost of living in this city continues to rise, wages are flat but the Premier thinks it’s okay to sign off on pay rises larger than the average wage. People have every right to ask what planet their Premier is living on – it’s certainly not one most of us would recognise.
“The Premier is giving six-figure pay increases to her most senior public servants while the rest of NSW is experiencing the lowest wages growth on record.
“It’s just another example of how this Government’s policies have led to an increase in inequality and unfairness in NSW.
“The Berejiklian Government continues to award those at the top while ignoring everyone else.
“The half a million dollars disgracefully squandered on fancy recruitment firms run by mates could have been better spent on teachers, nurses or coppers.”