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Courts - The Next Probation?

"An evaluation of salaries in the Departments of Courts shows they are grossly underpaid compared to median rates in the rest of the public sector", said PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

"Unless something is done, and done quickly, we could be facing another probation type situation", he said.

Evidence gathered as part of a PSA / Department remuneration working party shows the average salary in Courts is 17% below the public service median. 450 staff are paid less than 85% below the market median, and most of these are paid between $18,000 - $24,000.

"The Department can not continue to pay people at such low levels and expect to provide a good service, said Mr Wagstaff. A downward spiral has been created where lower salaries attract less skilled staff, which puts more pressure on existing staff, which results in low morale, high stress and absenteeism. The system is close to breaking", he said.

"The joint working party has identified the size of the problem, and what it will take to put it right. The onus is now on the Government to provide the funds to do that. These are not highly paid public service managers with wardrobes to match. They are core public servants providing an essential service up and down the country for very little money. If the government is serious about rebuilding the heart of the public service this is the place to start", said Mr Wagstaff.

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