Unions Tasmania response to second Tasmanian Government Stimulus Package

26 March 2020

Tasmanian workers and their families are crying out for financial relief amid a horror week of industry shutdowns, job losses and record demand for Centrelinks services.

Unions Tasmania has been advocating for more direct support to workers and households and is pleased to see a number of measures targeted to them included in todays second Support and Stimulus Package.

Unions Tasmania supports school levy refunds, freezes on electricity and water bill increases, and prohibitions on electricity disconnections. We support greater investment for staffing in health, child safety and family violence.

The commitment to pay casual workers in the State Service two weeks special leave if they are required to self-isolate due to Covid-19 is an important commitment and Unions Tasmania urges employers in the private sector to follow the Governments example.

This has been a devastating week for Tasmanian workers, said Unions Tasmania Secretary, Jessica Munday. We are facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis. It will require significant support from both State and Federal Governments.

It is critical that as much direct support goes to workers as possible. So far, only a very small percentage of measures announced by the Tasmanian Government today go directly to workers, said Ms Munday. Much of it goes to business and, while well be seeking more detail from the Tasmanian Government, it is not clear how much of that will reach workers.

Unions Tasmania is urging the Government to go further with additional support measures including:

  • Suspending or waiving electricity and water bills for struggling households, not just waiving them for business. The Government must go further than just freezing planned increases.
  • Ensure subsidies to business are, where possible, conditional upon keeping workers employed.
  • Importantly, lobby the Federal Government to adopt an 80% wage subsidy to keep Tasmanian workers in jobs and avoid the unemployment line.

For comment: Jessica Munday 0417 454 809