Jess Wilson - Worksafe executives payrises

Executives across Victoria’s public service, including many at the Andrews Government’s beleaguered WorkCover agency, are set to receive big pay rises as small businesses are slugged with higher premiums.

The Victorian Independent Renumeration Tribunal has recently provided advice to pay four WorkCover executives a total salary above the upper limit of the relevant pay band, including;

– Director, Premium and Self Insurance, $285,449 – $18,004 above the relevant band

– Executive Director, Insurance $390,542 – $6,002 above the relevant band

– Chief Information Security Officer $279,601 – $12,156 above the relevant band

– Chief Actuary $310,000 – $42,555 above the relevant band

In addition, the Tribunal has provided advice to pay three executives at the Victorian Funds Management Corporation above their relevant pay bands, including an increase of up to $214,809 for the Head of Portfolio Management Group, extreme pay rise for some.

These increases come as WorkCover premiums jump an average of 42 per cent – in some cases adding tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of operating a small to medium sized business in Victoria.

WorkCover’s most recent annual report confirms the agency is more than billion dollars in negative equity, despite receiving $1.3 billion in taxpayer bailouts over recent years.

In reference to pay rises, the shadow Minister for Finance, Jess Wilson, said Victorian households and small businesses are continuing to be punished for the incompetence of the Andrews Government.

“With taxes, debt and cost of living pressures all continuing to rise, Victoria needs a government with financial discipline that is fully focused on delivering value for taxpayers money,” Ms Wilson said.

“Victorians will rightfully be questioning why executives at one of Victoria’s poorest run agencies are receiving salaries well above the recommended limits at the same time as premiums for small business skyrocket.”

Speaking on pay rises, the shadow Minister for WorkCover and the TAC, Ann-Marie Hermans, said additional salaries for WorkSafe executives would only worsen the financial position of Victoria’s broken WorkCover scheme.

“Victoria’s WorkCover scheme has been mismanaged for years by the Andrews Government at significant cost to taxpayers and small businesses,” Ms Hermans said.

“The priority for WorkSafe shouldn’t be increasing executive pay, but on returning the scheme to financial stability and providing better support for injured workers to get back to their job.”


Labor mate gets another plum board position

In a separate release, the state Opposition has said that the Andrews Government has gifted another taxpayer funded board position to former Labor Minster, Martin Foley.

Mr Foley has a been appointed Chair of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Corporation, a position with a salary of up to $150,656 per year.

This role is in addition to Mr Foley’s recent appointment as the Chair of Alfred Health, a position with a salary of up to $113,000 per year.

It follows former Minister Lisa Neville’s appointment as Chair of Barwon Health and former Deputy Premier James Merlino’s appointment as Chair of the Suburban Rail Loop.

Shadow Special Minister of State, David Davis, said Victorians were continuing to pay the price of the of the Andrews Government’s incompetence and lack of integrity.

“Victorians deserve a government that acts with the highest integrity at all times, not one that treats taxpayer funded board positions as a retirement plan for former MPs,” Mr Davis said.

“Public sector board appointments must be conducted with transparency and in the interests of the community, not the Andrews Government’s interests.

“The long list of Labor appointments to plum taxpayer funded board roles is totally inappropriate and must be investigated as part of the Ombudsman’s inquiry into politicisation of the public service.”

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