PUBLIC sector lawyers in Tasmania are taking the government to the Industrial Commission after it pulled out of a new wage agreement.
The lawyers were to receive a 5 per cent wage increase under the new industrial relations agreement that covers lawyers in the state's public service.
The new agreement was to replace an existing three year agreement that was not renewed, said deputy secretary of the Justice Department, Michael Stevens.
The Community and Public Sector Union are representing the lawyers in their dispute and have criticised the governments move.
The CPSU's Mat Johnston said the government has unilaterally withdrawn from the agreement without consultation. "While it may be a legal right for them to do so it is certainly bad industrial practice," said Johnston.
“The Government failed to inform or consult with unions and their members prior to making a move to withdraw themselves from the legal practitioner’s agreement within the state service," he added.
The Greens leader, Nick McKim, said the government has failed to save during the good times, and has criticised the Premier, David Bartlett, for the situation.
"I'm just not sure what's so hard for David Bartlett about actually talking with people before he makes decisions about their employment future," McKim said.
Tasmanian treasurer, Michael Aird, has defended the government's move. "We are obviously in difficult financial times," Aird said.
The wage rise is expected to cost the government about $330,000 a year.