Today, the SDA – the state’s largest union – is launching its campaign calling on Premier Steven Marshall to declare Christmas Day a public holiday in South Australia.
In 2021, Christmas Day is on a Saturday which means the public holiday has been moved to Monday December 27.
Everywhere else in Australia, both days are recognised as public holidays.
This means that South Australia stands as the only jurisdiction in Australia where Christmas Day is not a public holiday in 2021.
On the most important day of the year, South Australia is the only place in the country where workers won’t receive public holiday penalty rates.
As a result, thousands of workers could be $200 worse off at a time when money matters most to many South Australians.
Workers who usually work Saturdays but don’t work on Christmas Day could also be forced to take unpaid leave, costing them hundreds of dollars in the week of Christmas.
Premier Steven Marshall has the power to change this and declare both days a public holiday but is refusing to.
The SDA and retail workers will be holding a public action in Victoria Square today and the Union will be running radio advertisements from today.
Quotes attributable to SDA Secretary Josh Peak:
“If Steven Marshall thinks he has problems with his party room, wait until essential workers find out he’s stealing their Christmas Day.”
“2021 has been a tough year for everyone. To think the Premier Marshall will be ending the year by denying workers public holiday penalty rates on Christmas Day is a disgrace.”
“We’ve relied on essential workers so much through this pandemic and it’s essential workers who will be working Christmas Day. It’s outrageous that the Government is treating essential workers with such disrespect.”
“Steven Marshall can fix this with the stroke of a pen, but he is refusing to.”
“Every other state has done the right thing and declared both days as public holidays in 2021. Why won’t Steven Marshall?”
“As a result of Steven Marshall’s refusal to act, essential workers – even those that don’t work on Christmas Day – could be $200 worse off at Christmas.”“Time and time again, Steven Marshall has left SA essential workers behind.”
“If workers in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and the ACT are all receiving penalty rates on Christmas Day, why shouldn’t South Australians?”