Scores of Broome public sector workers have walked off the job in protest of the State Government’s wages policy — joining thousands around WA in the simultaneous protest. Starting at Broome Police Station, United Workers Union members from ports, transport, health, schools, corrections, police and emergency services held the rally to fight for a pay rise “which reflects their hard work” and is in-line with the cost of living. The State Government’s latest iteration of the wages policy has capped wages at 3 percent-a-year with a one-off $2500 sign-on bonus. It comes as figures show inflation is running above 7 percent in WA. UWU public sector coordinator Kevin Sneddon said while the revised policy was an improvement on the $1000 cap that was in place a year ago, it would still short-change the State’s essential workers. “Unions were not consulted about the new policy which was announced by the Premier on Facebook a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “The one-off payment of $2500 will provide some relief but will be a sugar hit and in the second year wages will go backwards once more at a time where the cost of essentials such as food, fuel and housing are going through the roof. “Workers in the public sector have taken a pay cut year-on-year since McGowan was elected and it’s just not good enough. Public sector workers have worked through the height of the pandemic keeping Western Australia safe and strong and they deserve more than what is currently on offer.” Speaking at the Broome protest, West Kimberley Regional Prison senior officer Paul Morris said staff had been left disheartened by the State Government’s pay policy. “We’re short staffed, we’re underpaid and we’re expected to do the job of several people,” he said. “The rise isn’t even half the rate of inflation — it’s an insult to be honest.” The Broome rally coincided with rallies in Albany, Bunbury, Karratha, Geraldton and Northam, a move Mr Morris said should be received as a clear message by Ministers. “It’s unity. It’s us — all around the State — saying ‘enough is enough, we need to be treated better’,” he said. “Our prisons Minister, Bill Johnson, recently came up to Derby, but he didn’t even pop into the prison to greet us. “You come all the way up from Perth but you can’t even come in to see the people you’re meant to represent. It just stinks of not caring to be honest.” Representatives from every public school in Broome were also present at the rally.