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Victoria’s cops ‘lowest paid in Australia’ push for weekend penalty rates

Weekend penalty rates would reduce the ‘astronomical’ numbers of police officers taking sick days on weekends, the Victorian Police Association says.

The union is pushing for a five per cent pay increase as part of the latest round of negotiations.

Secretary Ron Iddles told Neil Mitchell there’s been a 22 per cent increase in mental illness in the last 12 months.

‘We are the only state that’s not paid penalty rates for weekend work,’ he said.

‘The job has increased dramatically in the last four to five years, the pressure on our members is increasing day-by-day.

‘We’re about the lowest paid in Australia, if penalty rates come in we’d sit mid-range.’

Mr Iddles said there would be a ‘real problem’ within three to four years if police numbers don’t rise.

He said some regions in Melbourne’s south-east are already facing significant staff shortages.

‘In January there will be four new schools opening there, it’s the fastest growing area in Melbourne’s metropolitan area.

‘We already say they’re around 50-60 police short.’

Full interview: Ron Iddles outlines the union’s push for penalty rates and pay rise