Public Service wage bargaining

Media Release
  • Leader of the Government in the Senate
  • Minister for Employment
  • Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
  • Liberal Senator for Tasmania

Australian Public Service agencies will commence negotiating new enterprise agreements under an improved Government Bargaining Framework released today.

This framework is designed to enable taxpayers to receive greater value for money at a time where the nation has been left its worst ever financial mess by Labor.

Labor waste and mismanagement left the Government with $123 billion in prospective deficits and $667 billion in gross debt. This dire fiscal challenge will leave little room for wage increases.

Public service conditions must not only be in line with community expectations, but they must be affordable and sustainable. It is no longer possible for the Government to fund new pay rises by borrowing more money from overseas.

Under the improved framework, agencies will be required to negotiate genuine productivity gains to offset public sector wage increases.

Consistent with past practice, programme and service funding cannot be used or redirected to pay for increases in pay and conditions. Any such increases must be funded from within existing budgets. This will ensure that services to the public are protected.

The Government will reverse Labor’s union-driven move towards APS-wide bargaining. Agency heads will continue to be responsible for negotiating their own agency’s agreements within the new framework. Other key elements of the new framework include:

  • ensuring that the right to belong, or not to belong, to a union is genuinely respected
  • maintaining the current level of consistency in core employment conditions across the public service
  • removing restrictions in current arrangements which inhibit managers’ ability to manage their staff
  • requiring any remuneration increase to apply prospectively
  • ensuring stability through enterprise agreements that are at least three years’ duration
  • the removal of Labor’s requirements for common expiry dates for more than 100 agreements.

Any wage increases under the new framework must be sustainable. The CPSU’s 12 per cent wage claim potentially jeopardises over another 10,000 Public Service jobs.

The CPSU should keep those facts in mind.

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