Pay freeze will hurt teachers, nurses, police officers

The Government has been forced to take drastic action and freeze public sector pay because it’s allowed the number of Wellington bureaucrats to swell up to an unsustainable size, National’s spokesperson for Public Service Mark Mitchell says.

“If Labour wants to reduce costs it only has to look at itself.

“Salaries for Wellington bureaucrats have increased by $1.3 billion in just three years of a Labour Government. That’s $300 million more than they increased under National over almost a decade.

“Labour bringing in a salary freeze now is like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.

“Our teachers, nurses and police officers worked tirelessly during the pandemic to keep us safe, to keep us healthy and to continue educating our children.

“It’s totally unacceptable that the Government has now signalled that their pay will be frozen for three years and it has had an immediate impact on pay negotiations for our police officers.

“The Government needs to reconsider and reverse immediately this pay freeze and take responsibility for out of control public sector growth.

“It shouldn’t be penalising our teachers and nurses because of its incompetence.”