Police accept pay pause, grading halt unfair

THE police union says the state government's wage freeze is a breach of employment contract.

The most controversial aspect of the budget saving measure pauses automatic pay grade increases for a year.

The first 12 pay grade bumps for police are automatic, Police Association of Tasmania president Pat Allen said.

The pause on going up a pay grade is on top of the government's freeze on a 2 per cent pay rise for public servants, which includes police.

Constable Allen said the policy targeted the "youngest and most vulnerable" officers in the force and would affect about 500 police.

The government has hit back at its opponents stating the pay pause - which will account for more than a third of the $7 million in savings police are being asked to make this year - will save 500 jobs.

" We believe there are 500 public servants and their families who are better off with a wage pause than no wage at all," Treasurer Peter Gutwein said.

"Before we chose to implement a pay pause, we asked unions on a number of occasions for alternatives. Unfortunately, they didn't offer a considered response."

Constable Allen said officers had understood the need to forgo a pay rise for a year, but the grading halt was unfair.

He said it would have flow-on effects for superannuation and other conditions.

While industrial action was not an option, according to Constable Allen, officers were starting to hit back at the government by claiming entitlements that weren't typically claimed.

"The goodwill is starting to come to an end," he said.

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