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    Parramatta workers rally against IR changes

    Posted: Tuesday, 26 July 2011 | By: Sophie Cotsis

    Western Sydney public sector workers will today protest against the O'Farrell Government's industrial relations laws in Parramatta – which cap wages, cut conditions and remove the independence of the Industrial Relations Commission.

    Workers will meet outside Parramatta RSL at 12.30 for the protest.

    Shadow Industrial Relations Minister Sophie Cotsis, Labor Duty MLC for Parramatta, Walt Secord and Labor Duty MLC for Granville, Lynda Voltz will join workers at the rally.

    "Nurses, police officers, fire fighters, health workers and public sector workers are protesting against the Premier's unprecedented industrial relations laws because they cap wages and give government the power to remove worker's conditions," Ms Cotsis said.

    "The biggest thing Barry O'Farrell has done since becoming Premier is ripping away the rights of public sector workers.

    "Under the O'Farrell laws, the public sector workers our community relies on will not be allowed wage increases above 2.5 per cent unless employee related savings are delivered first.

    "Under the changes public sector workers will have no access to a genuine independent umpire – with the Industrial Relations Commission forced to do the Government's bidding."

     "With inflation currently sitting at 3.3 per cent, the Government is essentially forcing these workers to accept cuts in conditions and standards just so they can receive a pay increase to help meet the rising cost of living," Mr Secord said.

    "This is simply unacceptable – research has shown that if these laws were implemented 10 years ago nurses would be $12,000 a year worse off.

    "The O'Farrell Government should be supporting our nurses, police officers, fire fighters and other public sector workers - not forcing them to trade off basic conditions so they can meet the rising cost of living."

    "The Premier and his Ministers have already ignored the 12,000 teachers, nurses, fire fighters, police officers, bus drivers and other public sector workers who rallied against these changes outside Parliament House last month," Ms Voltz said.

    "Today's protest will send a very clear message to the O'Farrell Government that the workers our community relies on will not idly stand by while their rights and conditions are ripped away."

    Tags: Barry O'Farrell, Industrial relations, NSW WorkChoices, Parramatta, Sophie Cotsis, Walt Secord, Western Sydney

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