During Parliamentary Budget Estimates on Thursday 3 August 2023, I asked the Director-General of the Department of Education, and Minister for Education, about the government cutting real pay for frontline workers.
You can read the answers below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).
Mr BERKMAN: Chair, you caught me off guard a little, there. My question was actually going to relate quite closely to the answer that the minister has just given. My understanding is that, based on the RBA and Queensland Treasury figures for current and forecast levels of inflation, under the existing EBA public sector workers in schools and health care will have received a real wage cut of more than three per cent by mid-2024 since the start of that agreement. My first question is to the director-general. Do you accept those figures that, relative to the recorded and forecast inflation, these frontline workers, teachers and nurses, will end up with a real pay cut?
Mr De’Ath: I do not believe on the surface of what you have put to me that I do accept that. I would need to investigate the exact calculations you have used there to better understand that and respond accurately.
Mr BERKMAN: If I could drill down a little bit on that, the minister’s previous answer referred to the cost-of-living supplement. Is that what it was called?
Ms GRACE: Yes. It is up to a three per cent additional cost-of-living payment on top of the four per cent that they got already.