1 June 2023

Federal public servants reject latest 10.5 per cent pay offer

| Andrew McLaughlin
Join the conversation
Melissa Donnelly

CPSU National Secretary Melissa Donnelly says her members are “looking for something better”. Photo: Supplied.

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members have voted to reject the latest pay offer of 10.5 per cent over three years from the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC).

The CPSU says 86 per cent of its members who voted in the ballot rejected the offer, with some reportedly claiming it came nowhere near matching cost of living and inflation increases, nor indexed increases in HECS debts.

The offer would have comprised a 4 per cent increase in the first year, 3.5 per cent in the second year, and 3 per cent in the third. But this offer was barely half the 20 per cent rise the CPSU had been seeking, comprising 9 per cent, 6 per cent, and 5 per cent increases over the three years.

Whether the CPSU’s claim was an ambit one or not, the two parties are still miles apart.

“Given the decade-long attack on APS employees’ wages and conditions and the skyrocketing cost of living, it is abundantly clear that APS employees are looking for something better,” CPSU National Secretary Melissa Donnelly said in a statement.

“From the outset, CPSU members have been clear that they want a fair deal and they want it delivered on time.

“They want to see the government bring a pay rise to the table that acknowledges what our members endured over the past decade, one that takes steps to address the attraction and retention crisis, and one that will go some way in easing current financial pressures. Our members have clearly communicated that a 10.5 per cent pay offer achieves none of those goals.”

The CPSU said its next step is to lodge an application with the Fair Work Commission for a protected action ballot in Services Australia. If approved, the application will give union members in Services Australia an option to vote on taking protected industrial action.

“Earlier this week, our union lodged an application for a protected action ballot in Services Australia with the Fair Work Commission,” Ms Donnelly said. “This decision has not been taken lightly.

“This is a strategic decision that puts our members in a position where they can increase pressure on the APSC and the Federal Government to deliver better outcomes in bargaining if necessary.”

READ ALSO Tell ’em they’re dreamin’! Minister rejects CPSU’s 20 per cent wage bid

Finance and Public Service Minister Katy Gallagher had previously rejected the CPSU’s 20 per cent claim, describing it as out of the question.

“It would be impossible to deliver that in terms of the budget we are facing, but we do want reasonable, affordable pay rises,” Senator Gallagher said on 30 March.

“They are doing what they need to do on behalf of their members. I understand that. We’ve got a job to do, too, which is to make sure the budget is sustainable.

“We are coming from different standpoints. Hopefully, we can meet in the middle.”

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Oh my, I’ll bet the naysayers are thinking we are some kind of crazy, but imagine not getting any pay rise for 6 years and then being given a miserable 8% as compensation for the 18% you lost because of a bastard right wing government? Not sure a self funded retiree would have worn that, or an accountant, let alone a politician? So ease up people and back the people who keep the services you depend on flowing. Otherwise I’m sure we could look at what five years of withdrawn income support payments, processing of tax returns, inspection of goods at the border or god forbid issuing you a passport might look like. Remember every public servant has your best interest and that of the nation at heart. PwC proves it!

There are plenty of other jobs out there, even in private industry

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.