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APS Salary negotiation

GuyBrushThreepwood 19 July 2010 34

I am an APS and I attended an interview last week for a position (higher classification) in a different government agency.

I have been told (informally) that I am selected for the role. Due to the different pay scales adopted by the government agencies in the APS, it would mean that I end up getting slightly less than what I get now if I take up the job.

I would like to know when and how to approach the salary negotiation process? Has anyone been in a similar situation before?


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ausdatablog ausdatablog 8:15 pm 04 Oct 10

Hi all, I took CSRI’s linked pdf table and have updated the graph to include all Category A departments. I’ll be following it up with a post on how spread out the different agencies pay:

http://ausdatablog.blogspot.com/2010/10/updated-interactive-graph-public.html

Cheers

– ausdatablog

ausdatablog ausdatablog 2:57 pm 01 Oct 10

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Sorry to tell you but, CPSU beat you to it – and did it for all 91 agencies: http://www.cpsu.org.au/multiversions/18018/FileName/Pay-gaps.pdf

CSRI – thanks for pointing that out. I noticed it after I had trawled through the EA’s myself – I’ll need to google better next time.

Still I think that my charts add a little value over trawling through PDF tables anyway. There has been quite a bit of traffic for that post, so I might do an update using the CPSU data.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 1:18 pm 01 Oct 10

ausdatablog said :

Hi all,

Thought you might be interested in an analysis I performed of various public service pay rates. Have a look at how your department stacks up against the rest.

http://ausdatablog.blogspot.com/2010/09/australian-public-service-wage.html

– ausdatablog

Sorry to tell you but, CPSU beat you to it – and did it for all 91 agencies: http://www.cpsu.org.au/multiversions/18018/FileName/Pay-gaps.pdf

ausdatablog ausdatablog 12:04 pm 01 Oct 10

Hi all,

Thought you might be interested in an analysis I performed of various public service pay rates. Have a look at how your department stacks up against the rest.

http://ausdatablog.blogspot.com/2010/09/australian-public-service-wage.html

– ausdatablog

Scrumpox Scrumpox 9:34 pm 02 Aug 10

54/11 said:
“I realise also that DoFA, in particular the Budget group, works some longs hours leading up to the Budget, and also budget and additional budget estimates. However, they were also provided with a lot of time in lieu, which balanced things out, except for the pay scales.”

This dude knows nothing about DoFD’s Budget Group. The long hours go all year, most staff are aged under 30 yrs & are generally near the bottom of the salary scales (fast promotions mean you don’t ever progress through the scales). TOIL is not granted at 1:1 more like 10 hrs have 1 hr off. There is no flextime for APS6 & lower. The top of the salary scale is a zone of discretion that no-one gets. No lunch breaks. Work weekends & public holidays. Priceless.

bloodymary bloodymary 10:30 pm 20 Jul 10

You have to wait for the formal offer then you can negotiate with them. Just to clarify, if you negotiate for the highest bracket on that pay scale, will you still be accepting slightly less than your previous job?

FrancisForde FrancisForde 6:43 pm 20 Jul 10

Under the current framework, DoFA has a role to ‘assess the affordability of APS agreements with proposed wage outcomes in excess of an AAWI of 3 per cent.’ The consequence of this is essentially to cap annual increases at 3% – and that’s what screwed Treasury recently (http://www.cpsu.org.au/agency/news/14439.html) when they missed the deadline. But that’s the Government’s warped decision-making, not DoFA’s.

If we’re talking pre-framework, then as I said wages have been a matter for the agreement between secretary and staff, haven’t they? DoFA has a role determining budgets, sure, but it’s up to the Government to budget appropriately for staff, and for collective agreements to be made within those constraints.

I just don’t buy the line that DoFA is somehow maliciously keeping the line agencies down. What incentive would they have to do that?

Much more likely, to my mind, that (1) DoFA (and other agency) staff have accepted productivity-enhancing concessions in return for higher wages; and (2) in formulating their collective agreements, highly-paid agencies have been mindful of the need to compete for highly-demanded and well-rewarded skill sets.

54-11 54-11 12:28 pm 20 Jul 10

In fact, in a roundabout sort of way, I should be grateful to DoFA. They put such a financial squeeze on my old department that they needed to cut staff (and services and service levels). As a result, I got my VR. However, the whole process is a bit of a joke, as I was 54/11ing anyway, and so in the end my department and Comsuper paid unnecessarily.

That’s why squeezing departmental budgets, including through the efficiency dividend (I restrained myself from using ED, Thumper), is not cost-effective. It just ends up costing the long-suffering taxpayer a whole lot more in the long run.

Andonymus Andonymus 11:10 am 20 Jul 10

FrancisForde said :

What control do those departments have over the pay scales of other departments? Surely those are matters for the agreements between secretaries and employees of their departments.

DoFA controls the budget strings, and also evaluates the efficiencies to be obtained out of other departments – which are the basis for any negotiated pay rises. So, in short, a lot.

grump grump 10:36 am 20 Jul 10

SpellingAndGrammar said :

…… paid pittance because it’s a priviledge to work there – go figure.

if your user name is spellingandgrammar then you should really check how to spell privilege. 😉

I-filed I-filed 9:26 am 20 Jul 10

taninaus said :

Also check what your other benefits are – those with higher pay scales may have sold off benefits that you may use.

And if you’re interested in further study, the study time and $ allowances vary wildly – eg from $1000 to at least $5000 a year.

Bockie Bockie 9:23 am 20 Jul 10

nathan said :

Totally OT, but Monsieur Threepwood has the best nick ever. I sincerely hope this thread descends into post after post of Monkey Island references.

Here’s a few to kick things off!

Insult: “You fight like a dairy farmer.”
Comeback: “How appropriate. You fight like a cow.”

“Look behind you, a Three-Headed Monkey!”

“That’s the second biggest monkey head I’ve ever seen!”

Thumper Thumper 9:14 am 20 Jul 10

You’ll always be welcome down here my old friend. What do you know what abalone?

They live in the sea and taste good?

Thumper Thumper 8:59 am 20 Jul 10

It’s really simple.

The APW of the APS is directly a result of AWAs being put in place by DoFA during the time JWH was PM and so PM&C, through MPB and PSC, possibly in consultation the CPSU, allowed EL1 and EL2 wages to increase more that the CPI.

Although, one mist admit that a large WTF factor that comes into play in cases like this.

S4anta S4anta 8:59 am 20 Jul 10

Thumper said :

EL1, taking the max up to around $111K

Wow! I really am in the wrong department…

You’ll always be welcome down here my old friend. What do you know what abalone?

54-11 54-11 8:50 am 20 Jul 10

Simple, FF, DoFA controls the budgets of other agencies. I realise that there needs to be constraint in government expenditure and that DoFA in particular had a role in doing this. However, I had a lot to do at Budget time and it bothered me that the DoFA equivalents were being paid a shitload of money more than me and other agency contacts for doing much the same work.

I realise also that DoFA, in particular the Budget group, works some longs hours leading up to the Budget, and also budget and additional budget estimates. However, they were also provided with a lot of time in lieu, which balanced things out, except for the pay scales.

I’m all in favour of returning to the good old days of consistent terms and conditions across the APS. Aren’t we all (or in my case, was) part of the same Service?

taninaus taninaus 7:21 am 20 Jul 10

Also check what your other benefits are – those with higher pay scales may have sold off benefits that you may use.

JC JC 3:17 am 20 Jul 10

It is all very much depends upon the agency. For example if you want to move from one APS agency to Defence then you go to the bottom of the broadband. If you want any higher then you must satisfy the delegate that your worth the extra. This is done at the stage after you have been offered a job and before you accept.

FrancisForde FrancisForde 9:44 pm 19 Jul 10

54-11 said :

What appals me is that agencies like DoFA and Treasury, which hold the purse strings, have made sure that their pay scales are well over the top. Talk about feathering your own nest, and screwing those agencies that have little or no influence.

What control do those departments have over the pay scales of other departments? Surely those are matters for the agreements between secretaries and employees of their departments.

The existence of a disincentive to transfer is all well and good, but I’m not clear on why that’s a sufficiently significant cost to justify foregoing the benefits of competition in this market. Some public sector agencies have to compete with major law firms and financial institutions to attract quality staff — others less so. If those agencies are to carry out their functions effectively, they need to offer more attractive conditions to get workers of adequate capability through the door. ASIC (the highest paid in the CPSU’s table) is an obvious example of that.

The other factor is that it should be plain to most in the public sector that employees of the same classification in different agencies are seldom of identical capability. And that’s what puts the lie to the CPSU’s “equal pay for equal work” line. Suppose the ‘pay gaps’ were eradicated. If you’re a competent EL1, why destroy yourself at DoFA writing a Budget every year when you could put your feet up at the Equal Opportunity For Women In The Workplace Agency or the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and expand the cardigan section of your wardrobe?

The ‘psychic income’ of doing particularly important or challenging work is not enough. If we want our public sector agencies working effectively, we need to let the market have at least some say in the allocation of the scarce resource that is the competent EL1.

And yes, full disclosure, I work at an agency that currently does all right for itself. And I’m not unmoved by the occasional fantasy of taking a transfer – at level and at pay – to the Department of Land Rights for Gay Whales.

BundahBoy BundahBoy 9:25 pm 19 Jul 10

In the circumstance, now is the time to negotiate your salary, push it..push it

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