TOOWOOMBA lawyer Perry Russell says the landmark wage rise his firm won for Queensland Police Service officers could lead to increased wages for all public sector workers.
The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission handed down a decision on Thursday to increase police officers' wages by 3.8 per cent, 3.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent each year for three years.
It was a substantial rise on the State Government's initial offer of 2.5 per cent per annum over three years which the commission found would not permit police to maintain real living standards.
Mr Russell, who is a partner at Creevey Russell Lawyers, acted for the Queensland Police Commissioned Officer's Union in the claim.
“The treasurer had determined that no public servants were to receive more than a 2.5 per cent pay rise until the budget returned to surplus,” Mr Russell said.
“This decision is going to require the State Government to review its budget.
“It potentially opens up for other public service unions to pursue their wage claims in the Industrial Relations Commission.”
He said the main candidates for wage increases could include nurses, teachers, emergency service workers and public servants.
“It is the first claim of this type to go to a contested hearing.”
The wage claim was the first of two wins the firm had in cases against the State Government last week.
On Friday, lawyers successfully defended an appeal by the government to allow drinks to be served in glasses at The Mad Cow Tavern in Townsville.
Creevey Russell Lawyers senior associate Simon Trewavas said the firm was successful in defending the original decision to allow the tavern, which had been deemed a risk venue, to use glasses.
Mr Russell said the cases had involved Toowoomba lawyers in significant matters against the State.
“It is extremely rewarding to be involved in matters that some might expect to be the exclusive domain of large, national legal firms.”
Mr Trewavas said the results were the result of hard work.
“It is really exciting to be involved in a progressive firm that is boxing above its weight.”
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