Members of the NSW Public Service are to receive a 2.5 per cent pay rise from 1 July.
Announced in this week’s Budget by Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, the salary increase was in response to the State’s economic rebound from COVID-19 and revives the PS pay increase of 2.5 per cent remuneration increases introduced in 2011.
“This change in the Government’s wages policy is forecast to cost approximately $2.7 billion over the four-year forward estimates,” Mr Perrottet said.
“This increase is significantly above current private sector wage growth, with most recent figures trending at 1.7 per cent for the sector that employs the vast majority of workers in NSW.”
He said last year’s reduction in pay rises for the PS was a tough decision, but everyone remembers the very confronting scenes from last year of people lined up outside Centrelink.
“By making that decision we were able to protect and boost jobs when needed to,” Mr Perrottet said.
He pointed to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission’s award to most public servants of a wage increase of 0.3 per cent in October last year in the midst of the pandemic.
Mr Perrottet said that while the NSW economy had rebounded, the impact of COVID-19 was still being felt.
He said that after spiking to just over seven per cent, the NSW unemployment rate was now at 5.0 per cent with the Australian unemployment rate at 5.1 per cent.
He said NSW had regained more than the 270,000 jobs that were lost during the pandemic and the recovery in the economy was well underway.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Government’s decision to boost pay for the PS came on the back of renewed confidence in the NSW economy following a year in which the country experienced its first recession in a generation severest post-war recession.
“The pandemic has meant making sacrifices and difficult decisions,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“This included wage restraint during the worst of the crisis,”
She said that during that time the Government put all its financial strength into protecting people, providing economic stimulus and boosting job-creating programs.
“The economy is back growing and we are now able to give a wage increase to government workers and their families,” the Premier said.
“I would like to thank all of our public servants for the work they have done in protecting the people of NSW over the past 18 months,” she said.