26 September 2023

APS payrise a start for stability

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The Australian Public Service (APS) is to receive a three per cent pay increase over the next 12 months under a new interim workplace arrangement that includes surety for casual employees and guarantees rights to union representation and consultation.

Welcoming the Australian Public Service Commission’s (APSC) Public Sector Interim Workplace Arrangements 2022, the Minister for the Public Service, Senator Katy Gallagher said the arrangements would allow for proper consultation on, and development of, a longer term policy to reduce the fragmentation of pay and conditions across the APS.

“This is a complex undertaking as there are significant differences in pay, terms and conditions across the Commonwealth,” Senator Gallagher said.

“The proposed reform will need to include careful consideration and consultation on these matters.”

She said the Interim Arrangements would apply to Commonwealth employees with an annual pay increase due before 31 August 2023.

Releasing the Interim Arrangements, the APSC said the arrangements, backdated to commence on 1 September, were designed to avoid further disparity between Agencies.

“The Interim Arrangements revoke and replace the Public Sector Workplace Relations Policy 2020 in its entirety,” the APSC said.

“The Interim Arrangements support the Government’s commitment to take steps towards addressing fragmentation in remuneration and conditions across Commonwealth Agencies through enlivened genuine bargaining,” it said.

“As a temporary measure under the Interim Arrangements, Agencies are encouraged to take steps to efficiently provide a remuneration increase during the period of these arrangements, as described within, in consultation with employees and their representatives.”

The APSC said the arrangements also encouraged Agencies and employees to make short-term determinations under relevant legislation to provide a timely remuneration increase.

“The Interim Arrangements promote minimum changes to conditions within this interim period to minimise the impact on future Commonwealth bargaining, which will be aimed at improving commonality of conditions across Commonwealth Agencies,” the APSC said.

“Agencies should consult with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) prior to engaging in bargaining to discuss the Agency’s circumstances in the context of the broader public sector workplace relations reform agenda.”

The APSC said existing workplace arrangements were not disturbed by the Interim Arrangements, but any previously scheduled wage increase payable during the operational life of the policy should be supplemented to deliver an equitable remuneration increase as provided for under the Arrangements.

It said the Interim Arrangements applied to all APS and non-APS Australian Government entities, and Members of Parliament Staff.

APSC’s seven-page Public Sector Interim Workplace Arrangements 2022 can be accessed at this PS News link.

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