Victorian premier Daniel Andrews reckons he works hard and plans to pocket a hefty pay rise which will make him the highest-paid of all Australia's state and territory leaders.
The Labor leader's salary will grow by 11.8 per cent to $422,562 by mid-2020, after Victoria's Independent Remuneration Tribunal made its first ruling on the earnings of state politicians.
Mr Andrews said he has known since he entered parliament 17 years ago that politicians are well paid.
"That's why I spend every minute of every day, working as hard as I can to repay the community for the trust they've placed in me," he told reporters on Wednesday.
He accepted the tribunal decision which will also increase by 3.5 per cent the "basic salary" of an MP, to $182,413.
Unions have declared the pay rise a double standard, when most Victorian public servants are being offered an increase of two per cent.
But the Victorian Labor leader stressed he's had no part in the pay increase, after vowing before last year's election to leave it to the remuneration tribunal to decide what politicians earn.
"I've had no involvement with this, no member of parliament has had any involvement with this, because those days are over," he told reporters in Shepparton on Wednesday.
"The days of setting our own pay are gone."
Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien, who also gets a fatter pay chack, said the Liberals were also willing to "cop" the result.
"We've accepted that politicians shouldn't be setting their own (pay). That has happened in the past, the community didn't like it," he said.
But he said it was understandable for public sector workers such as police officers and paramedics to question the call.
"It's only fair if other groups in the public sector get a reasonable pay rise as well."
The United Voice union, which represents paramedics, said they were "outraged".
"We're looking at a situation where Victoria would have the best paid politicians but the worst paid paramedics," Victorian Secretary Ben Redford said.
Police Minister Lisa Neville said the pay rises were a surprise to her and she understood some people deem them excessive.
"That's what happens when you set up an independent process," she said.
Australian Associated Press