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Australian Public Service, public circus pay rise issue

By Georges - 3 June 2011 20

I’m not happy with regard to negotiations between CPSU / Public Service Commission and Fair Work Australia, current Australian Public Service pay raise issue:

“The national workplace relations tribunal has begun hearing a wage dispute involving federal public servants.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) is warning staff at agencies may take industrial action because of a lack of negotiation around new staff agreements due in July.

The union says the dispute lodged with Fair Work Australia involves 12 of the largest agencies in the public service, but the implications affect all 74 commonwealth agencies currently in enterprise bargaining.

Public service wage dispute hearing – Fair Work Australia involves 12 of the largest agencies in the public service.”

At least one of the larger government agencies in Barton quoted above converted numerous highly paid contractor placements to permanent APS positions last year.  Now the union (CPSU) wants these same fortunate staff, mostly non-CPSU members, to receive an automatic pay increase!  How does this stack up with the average wage earner in Australia trying to survive the current GFC and other day to day economic pressures?  Another deportment of feral affairs and trade type caper.

According to Joe Hockey, there are 20,000 new public servant positions created since the commencement of the Rudd Government.   There is a fractional number of permanent paid up APS staff members of CPSU, should they expect a wage increase?

During 2009 there was a mad grab for middle management executive level promotions on offer within the Australian Public Service.   So who is now doing the basic grunt work within our APS?  Not the scores and scores of priviledged EL1 staff, mostly non paid up members of CPSU, that’s for sure!

“Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) is warning staff at agencies may take industrial action.”

What does this mean, the country is going to grind to a halt?  The average person in Australia would not have a clue or any interest in a public service stop ‘work’ action. What work?    Half of an APS day is taken up in go nowhere meetings, wasted talk time and often travel rort fests away from Canberra.

CPSU should become realistic within Australia and focus on assisting the lower ranks of the Australian Public Service rather the whole over priviledged, promoted and remunerated sum.   Not good enough.

Pay rise for Australian Public Servants this year?   At least for half…  I do not believe so.

Vince

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20 Responses to
Australian Public Service, public circus pay rise issue
JC 10:33 pm 05 Jun 11

malbert said :

PigDog said :

According to https://www.apsedii.gov.au there are:

I know I’m over simplifying here, but adding Trainees through to APS6 averages out to only 2.86 staff per EL.

I was going to standardize salary data but I can’t seem to find it on http://www.apsedii.gov.au? I’m guesstimating ~40% are at or over the average wage.

As someone currently in the private sector, I can sum that up with “wow, just wow”.

Many EL’s don’t have any staff at all (such as myself). At the end of the day it is a label referring to a pay band. Many specialist positions get paid at the EL level to maintain at least some form of parity with the non APS world.

Indeed amongst the EL levels there are even special categories in some departments to pay certain people even more. Doctors and lawyers for example. So don’t get too caught up in trying to pigeon hole levels to function and saying x number of EL’s have y number of staff as it means SFA. Just treat it all as a pay level.

JC 10:28 pm 05 Jun 11

PigDog said :

What a ridiculous post. Quoting politicians as a source shows you are obviously an idiot for a start. But I will pick on only your last comment “At least for half… I do not believe so”

According to https://www.apsedii.gov.au there are:

– 1,385 Trainee & Grads,
– 5,037 APS 1-2,
– 52,074 APS 3-4,
– 51,349 APS 5-6,
– 38,416 ELs, and
– 2,610 SES in the APS.

Which half exactly do you suggest don’t deserve a pay raise?

(as an aside, I also will quote from Joe Hockey: “I am coming to you, Swannie.” http://www.openaustralia.org/search/?pid=10306&pop=1 )

I think he was saying the non union members shouldn’t get one. Hard to tell with such a disjointed rant though.

r_evolution 11:16 pm 04 Jun 11

In all honesty, the big issue for myself as for most other public servants that I know is not that the payrise is below CPI or inflation rises, as we all understand that its particuarly tough economic times, but that this sub-par pay rise is being ‘cost recovered’ through erosion of conditions, such as diminished personal leave etc.

A sub CPI pay rise would be something to grit your teeth and suck up, but a sub CPI pay rise funded by slashing leave and conditions comes across as more remeniscent of the Howard years than a government which promised never to bring back workchoices. I think that the APSC’s plan to erode across the board by negotiating a whole bunch of departmental agreements at the one time has somewhat backfired though, as rather than a piecemeal ‘one department at a time’ getting done over, its become blatantly obvious to almost all across the departments affected what is happening which results in larger consequences and co-ordinated action if it does come to industrial action of some kind.

Georges 7:42 pm 04 Jun 11

heel pigdog

Now carefully understand the premise of my comments of which I repeat & expand upon:

Numerous highly paid contractors since 2009 are now permanent APS public servants. Most are not CPSU members and probably consider themselves in line for a pay rise – for what? Not on, go find out for yourself how these staff became permanent. Frequent pay increases in contractor hourly rates per agency, prior to their APS permanent appointment, has resulted in a public service joke. CPSU has not observed that many new arrivals to the APS got there too easy and with large remuneration, especially contractors and the business relationship between government and recruitment companies that made this joke a reality.

Numerous APS 6 staff were promoted to EL1 level during 2009. Most are not CPSU members and consider themselves in line for a pay rise – for what? Inflation maybe.

Who is doing the basic grunt work within the APS? Many fully paid up APS CPSU members, that’s who, and not ex-contractors, that’s for sure.

‘Which half exactly do you suggest don’t deserve a pay raise?’

Non CPSU members would be ’round more than half don’t you think, pigdog?

malbert 11:08 am 04 Jun 11

PigDog said :

According to https://www.apsedii.gov.au there are:

I know I’m over simplifying here, but adding Trainees through to APS6 averages out to only 2.86 staff per EL.

I was going to standardize salary data but I can’t seem to find it on http://www.apsedii.gov.au? I’m guesstimating ~40% are at or over the average wage.

As someone currently in the private sector, I can sum that up with “wow, just wow”.

PigDog 1:15 pm 03 Jun 11

What a ridiculous post. Quoting politicians as a source shows you are obviously an idiot for a start. But I will pick on only your last comment “At least for half… I do not believe so”

According to https://www.apsedii.gov.au there are:

– 1,385 Trainee & Grads,
– 5,037 APS 1-2,
– 52,074 APS 3-4,
– 51,349 APS 5-6,
– 38,416 ELs, and
– 2,610 SES in the APS.

Which half exactly do you suggest don’t deserve a pay raise?

(as an aside, I also will quote from Joe Hockey: “I am coming to you, Swannie.” http://www.openaustralia.org/search/?pid=10306&pop=1 )

ahappychappy 12:45 pm 03 Jun 11

deejay said :

There *is* concern that the proposed payrise is less than inflation. However, the heart of the dispute is that the CPSU (and independent representatives, who anyone can nominate if they don’t like the union) are not allowed to negotiate with the real decisionmakers, which is the legal definition of not bargaining in good faith. At the negotiating table, the CPSU is being told by agencies “We can’t give you X because the Australian Public Service Commission says we’re not allowed to.” However, the APSC denies this despite the message coming from many agencies. Therefore, the APSC is acting as the real decision-maker by pulling the strings from behind the scenes, which is not in line with the rules around negotiations. The CPSU has every right to enter into a dispute over this behaviour.

Wait, hang on a sec…

The real dispute is that the CPSU doesn’t want to be powerless. It’s not that they can’t bargain to benefit their members, it’s that they won’t have as much power or influence if they can’t sit at a table and negotiate outside the guidelines the APSC has set in place. They’re allowed to negotiate within the guidelines, they’re just deciding that they don’t like the guidelines.

Personally, I think it’s ridiculous that all APS employees, regardless of their personal affiliation to the CPSU, are going to be worse-off due to a union stomping its feet in a huff. Wouldn’t the CPSU rather see its members receive some sort of benefit than see everyone APS employee receive nothing?

GBT 12:39 pm 03 Jun 11

Actually 40% of my department is made up of EL1s, which many got there through work-level standard from APS 6 and are thus doing the job of a 6 but being paid more for the privilege.

Also our EA is currently being held up on a point about offering TOIL to ELs which they can much more readily access than the current system, so it’s not true they only focus on APS1-6.

Watson 12:35 pm 03 Jun 11

I can’t make head nor tail of the OP. Doesn’t the payrise negotiated in the Collective Agreement (or whatever it’s called in the APS) apply to all staff? What does the level have to do with anything?

Rollersk8r 11:59 am 03 Jun 11

I’m not sure what your personal beef is with EL1s – but the fact is the CPSU does indeed focus most of its attention on the APS1 – 6 levels because they are far more numerous than your “scores” of EL1s (and above).

deejay 11:16 am 03 Jun 11

Apart from the fact that EL1s are not a privileged class (I’m an EL1, and pay my $50 a month to the CPSU, and if there is work excess I take it myself because I get paid more than my APS staff), this is a very simplistic view of the dispute.

There *is* concern that the proposed payrise is less than inflation. However, the heart of the dispute is that the CPSU (and independent representatives, who anyone can nominate if they don’t like the union) are not allowed to negotiate with the real decisionmakers, which is the legal definition of not bargaining in good faith. At the negotiating table, the CPSU is being told by agencies “We can’t give you X because the Australian Public Service Commission says we’re not allowed to.” However, the APSC denies this despite the message coming from many agencies. Therefore, the APSC is acting as the real decision-maker by pulling the strings from behind the scenes, which is not in line with the rules around negotiations. The CPSU has every right to enter into a dispute over this behaviour.

As for industrial action – I can live with 3%, but I’ll go out if it happens (which I’ve never done before), because I think it’s abominable that neither I nor my representatives can negotiate my conditions with the real decision-makers. And remember, industrial action wouldn’t even be a realistic option if the Government (not the CPSU) hadn’t directed all agreements last year to end at the same time so they could all be re-negotiated in alignment. The Government obviously thought they could use this as a mechanism to impose conditions unilaterally, not realising they had handed the CPSU the power of numbers in the process.

The Frots 10:18 am 03 Jun 11

The CPSU…………………………..

No time for them at all. I recall a case of rather severe bullying a couple of years back which was reported to them constantly – they didn’t even return a phone call because it was against a SES Band 1.

When you need them, they are not there!

MrMagoo 10:17 am 03 Jun 11

I have to say that winthin my Division its all hands to the pump, we’ve got plenty on and not enough people to do it, haven’t had full ASL on board for a few years now.

At the end of the day, I’m no fan of the CPSI saying staff will strike. I have no intention of doing so and won’t be bullied into it by the Union. As APS staff we ae remunerated well for the work we do, unfortunately some people don’t actually ‘earn’ it.

futto 10:17 am 03 Jun 11

I’m not a public servant but that opinion post has a lot of half truths and assumptions, and to be honest, I’m fed up with the PS bashing.

For example, the 20 000 figure has been debunked with official figures (http://www.smos.gov.au/media/2011/mr_202011.html). If you were aware of this but didn’t fit with your narrative, you chose to ignore it, showing your bias and allows me to dismiss the remainder of your rant.

If, on the other hand, you were unaware of this fact, how can trust the rest of your post? Did you do any research to back any of your assertions or are you basing your information on what someone told you they read on news.com.au and the myth of the fat cat public servant?

I have many friends here in Canberra (as i imaging most Rioters do) who are dedicated and hard working in government jobs and your ignorant post is insulting to them. I wonder if if you would enjoy me judging you at your job and seeing if I deem it worthy of compensation.

miz 10:06 am 03 Jun 11

I am not so sure that EL1s are among the ‘privileged’ – the ones in our Department do a lot of the ‘grunt’ work themselves, and don’t get flex (they get some stupid time off in lieu which they can hardly ever access – doesn’t make one aspire!) so, often, they are the ones that have to stay back till the work is done where there are tight deadlines.

However, there are certainly not enough ‘indians’ to do the actual work at the moment and the 3 per cent being offered to them is an insult given the workload and current cost of living.

The ones that do the travelling are usually Branch Head and above – and they get no remuneration for the long hours they work over and above.

I do agree though that it IS annoying (as a CPSU member myself) that many non-members coat-tail on the CPSU, which is a pity as their membership would make a huge difference in negotiations. My Department prefers to issue ultimatums instead of actually making the effort to negotiate.

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