Queensland’s independent remuneration tribunal awarded Annastacia Palaszczuk a 2 per cent increase last September, followed by a 2.25 per cent rise in March and another 2.5 per cent hike to come in September this year, when her salary will reach $427,500. NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet receives $407,980.
Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam, who was the only parliamentarian to make a submission to the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal, called for a 1.5 per cent pay-rise cap for MPs.
“No more than a 1.5 per cent wage increase is appropriate and is consistent with the Victorian government’s current wages policy and enterprise bargaining framework,” Ratnam said in her submission.
“We believe it is unnecessary and inequitable for members of parliament to receive wage increases in excess of those being offered by the government to other public sector workers.”
She said the money should instead be redirected to allowing crossbench MPs to hire more electorate officers and expand their communications budgets.
MPs are given 2.5 full-time-equivalent staff to cover all their work, including managing the office, responding to constituents, supporting policy work and communicating parliamentarians’ news to the electorate.
“Communications is becoming a more intense job in the digital age including needing to monitor and respond to several social media platforms, manage posts and responses, especially now we are often held accountable for ensuring comments on our social media by other people are not defamatory or abusive,” Ratnam argued.
“[These roles are] at least one full-time job if not much more – yet we are required to fit them into 2.5 [full-time equivalent] so we need to rely on part-time staff or on significantly utilising the electorate office and communications budget to engage additional staff. This is further problematic because such staff can only be employed on a casual basis.”
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