Commonwealth public servants will receive a three per cent wage increase, to be phased in across agencies over the next 12 months.
Public Service Minister Katy Gallagher will announce the government’s decision today (6 October), saying the Australian Public Service has earned the pay rise.
The wage hike is an interim measure while salary negotiations are ongoing.
Senator Gallagher said the decision will ensure that Commonwealth public servants who have worked hard to support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic and through the transition to the new government are not worse off in their pay packets while more comprehensive arrangements are developed.
“Re-engaging with genuine bargaining, and establishing the public service as a model employer, is a key focus of the Albanese Labor Government,” she said.
“We made this commitment before the election and we will deliver on it. The government is committed to working in partnership with agencies, unions and employees to develop a comprehensive workplace relations approach for the Australian Public Service.
“This is a complex undertaking as there are significant differences in pay, terms and conditions across the Commonwealth. The proposed reform will need to include careful consideration and consultation on these matters.”
The new interim workplace relations policy is designed to allow for proper consultation on developing a longer-term policy that supports reducing the fragmentation of pay and conditions across the APS.
The Public Sector Interim Workplace Arrangements 2022 will apply to Commonwealth employees with an annual pay increase due before 31 August 2023.
Senator Gallagher said the government understood the benefits that would result from genuine service-wide negotiations on pay and common conditions, with agency-specific conditions negotiated at the individual agency level.
“This interim arrangement creates certainty and consistency while the government develops a process to support service-wide negotiations in line with our election commitment, “Senator Gallagher said.
She said the measures will ensure APS employees receive a fair, timely remuneration increase while a new comprehensive workplace relations approach is being developed; highlight the government’s commitment to ensuring genuine engagement and consultation with employees and their representatives; and set the government’s expectations of the Commonwealth as a model employer.
“This includes a commitment to genuine consultation with employees and their representatives,” Senator Gallagher said.
The Australian Public Service Commission will issue supplementary guidance for agencies on these important matters, including the expected steps towards future arrangements in consultation with employees and their representatives.