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Tasmanian lawyers in salary dispute

Tasmanian lawyers in salary dispute

More than 110 Tasmanian State Government lawyers have threatened to start legal proceedings in the Supreme Court over a cancelled pay deal.In a letter to the Premier, David Bartlett, the lawyers…

More than 110 Tasmanian State Government lawyers have threatened to start legal proceedings in the Supreme Court over a cancelled pay deal.

In a letter to the Premier, David Bartlett, the lawyers demanded the former wage agreement be reinstated and a 4.9 per cent pay rise be backdated from July, by an end-of-month deadline, or an action would be commenced.

Practitioners working for government departments - including the office of the director of public prosecutions, Tasmania police and the Legal Aid Commission - made the demands.

In June, the Government cancelled the lawyers' wage deal without notice or consultation, where salaries were linked with a complex "nexus" arrangement of legal counterparts working in Queensland, WA, the ACT and NT.

The Head of the Premier's Public Sector Management Office, Frank Ogle, held a meeting with senior representatives of the group on Tuesday but no resolution was reached. The Government has refused to reinstate the "nexus clause".

Ogle informed the lawyers that a response to their letter would not be forthcoming until Solicitor-General Leigh Sealy provided written advice, reported The Mercury.

Government lawyers receive salaries ranging from $55,000 and $115,000 a year but wage policy for public servants has been restricted to 1 per cent pay rises in December 2009 and 2010 and 2.5 per cent in 2011.

The Arbitration Commission also ruled in June that the Government's right to cancel the Legal Practitioners' Agreement without notice was valid.

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