Home Australia Outrage at $120k traffic controller pay packet – as Aussies who work behind a desk are called ‘less important’

Outrage at $120k traffic controller pay packet – as Aussies who work behind a desk are called ‘less important’

by Elijah
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Traffic controllers will receive salaries of $120,000, prompting a Labor Party operative to tell those working behind a desk that they are less important than shopkeepers (pictured, a Sydney traffic controller).

An influential pollster has launched a scathing attack on office workers to defend their industries following outrage over a new union pay deal.

RedBridge Group director Kos Samaras issued a strong message on X stating that those who worked behind a desk were less important than traders.

His tirade came as the Construction, Forestry and Maritime Employees Union (CFMEU) moved closer to signing a new labor agreement.

Entry-level workers and young stop sign holders who work 36 hours a week will receive “at least” a five percent pay increase, bringing the salary to $120,000.

Workers would earn more than $2,000 a week and receive a $260 travel allowance, while those who worked overtime would earn even more money.

The news has sparked outrage among some Australians, who complained it was unfair that someone who “held a pole all day” was paid so generously.

Samaras, who worked as the Victorian Labor Party’s deputy campaign manager from 2005 to 2019, was among those who defended the deal and suffered a heavy defeat.

“Just a friendly reminder that workers who build things with their hands are actually more important than most who work behind a desk,” he wrote on Sunday.

Traffic controllers will receive salaries of $120,000, prompting a Labor Party operative to tell those working behind a desk that they are less important than shopkeepers (pictured, a Sydney traffic controller).

His opinion seemed to upset many of his 27,900 followers, including many with progressive political views.

His opinion seemed to upset many of his 27,900 followers, including many with progressive political views.

‘The social value of the latter is extremely subjective. The work of the first group is easy to measure. Aim.

‘Without them, those working behind the desk will starve, freeze and be unable to function.

‘There are no houses, no desks, no offices, no plastic, no food, no phones, nothing. Your college degree does not place you above these workers.

“It just ensures that we don’t sweat to produce value for society.”

Traffic controllers on the Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project already receive $126,600 a year when site and travel allowances are included.

CFMEU state secretary John Setka is pushing to extend that deal for lower-skilled workers at all state government-funded sites.

Samara’s comment seemed to upset many of her 27,900 followers.

Andrew Griffith, a self-described progressive from Melbourne, observed that many people who contributed to society did not do things with their hands.

‘I totally disagree. It depends on what they do,’ she stated.

‘Nurses, doctors, teachers, ambulance drivers, etc. They don’t “build things with their hands,” but we’d be screwed without them. I could go on, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

Another was even more scathing: “As if our anti-intellectual, tradition-worshipping population needed a ‘friendly reminder.'”

“When a job that requires minimal education and minimal effort is valued more than teachers, nurses and police, something is seriously wrong with the system,” another critic said.

But one tradesman pointed out that the work was physically demanding, meaning those who had to crawl under houses to install pipes or lift heavy pieces of wood would not be able to work until they could receive their pension at age 67.

“Thank you Kos, we professionals pay the price when we get older, knees, shoulders, back, etc., and they expect us to continue until we are 67,” he said.

A second person added: ‘I think they deserve it. Under the sun all day, many night shifts.

‘Breathe all car fumes for 7-8 hours a day. I won’t do it and I appreciate the people who do it.’

“It can be very boring and hard work and you have to be alert at all times,” said another.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union continued to negotiate enterprise agreements worth $120,000 for traffic controllers on major construction projects in Victoria, covering major road and rail projects (pictured, CFMEU protesters in Melbourne ).

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union continued to negotiate enterprise agreements worth $120,000 for traffic controllers on major construction projects in Victoria, covering major road and rail projects (pictured, CFMEU protesters in Melbourne ).

Samaras had the surprising support of Matthew Camenzuli, a former member of the NSW Liberal Party state executive who sued former Prime Minister Scott Morrison over preselections.

‘I agree Kos. Too bad Labor has forgotten its base and the Liberals have been busy turning into a teal balloon animal,” he said.

‘The liberals will find their way back soon and pick them up and the rest of the forgotten people. β€œIt’s a revival that should have been done a long time ago.”

Australia’s highest-paid professionals tend to be surgeons, who technically work with their hands after spending many years at university and have an average taxable income of $457,281 in 2020-21.

But tradesmen who didn’t go to college can typically earn six-figure salaries, and construction project managers have a taxable income of $120,029.

The construction sector is cyclical: the Reserve Bank’s 13 interest rate rises in 2022 and 2023 led to a series of construction company collapses.

Rising construction costs have also hurt residential homebuilders who are bound by fixed-price contracts.

Despite that, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and states pledged last year to build 1.2 million “new, well-located homes” over five years, starting July 1, 2024.

Samaras noted that builders were in short supply, even as immigration reached record levels above 500,000 in 2022-23.

‘Well, talk to any government in Australia right now. “They can’t find enough labor to build houses,” he said.

Kos Samaras, a Labour-aligned pollster who is now director of the RedBridge Group, issued a strong message about X, dividing opinion among his left-wing followers on social media.

Kos Samaras, a Labour-aligned pollster who is now director of the RedBridge Group, issued a strong message about X, dividing opinion among his left-wing followers on social media.

Skills Minister Brendan O’Connor on Monday launched a review of apprenticeships to address skills shortages.

‘We know that almost half of apprentices do not complete their training. Addressing the completion rate is not only vitally important for individuals and employers, but also for the Australian economy,” she said.

Many trades are also not particularly well paid, with bricklayers having an average taxable income of $63,180 compared to $72,180 for a carpenter.

Both levels would now be below the average salary of $72,735 in 2023, covering both full-time and part-time workers.

A book editor with a publishing house has an average taxable income of $70,443, compared to a librarian’s salary of $71,891 for someone who went to university and earned a bachelor of arts degree, Tax Office data showed from Australia.

Salary levels were similar to that of a midwife at $73,676.

Tax accountants had a median taxable income of $87,315, but this is below the median full-time salary of $95,581.

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