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Payday for the Secretaries

By Albigeois - 10 July 2008 29

So news.com.au is reporting that Secretaries of Departments have ALL received pay increases of 18.9%.

http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,23636,23986832-462,00.html

All this in a time of wage restraint, downsizing, redundancies and efficiency dividends.

Perhaps it’s a while since they got a pay increase. But if memory serves me correct all Departmental Secretaries signed 5 year contracts in December 07/January 08 so in theory they should have negotiated any pay increase then?

Interesting.

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
Payday for the Secretaries
Pesty 7:50 pm 10 Jul 08

From what I have seen, public servents in general really work for a living these days, However,it seems that once you get to a certain level, it changes to having to living for work! as most don’t get much of a life outside of their work, then they probably deserve the money. I am not envious, I pity them if anything. You only come this way once! There must be more to life than just work. (Mrs Pesty will remind me of this someday I know!)How many people outside the PS work so long hours all the year as these top dogs?

Sleaz274 7:50 pm 10 Jul 08

Of course it probably had to go through one of these “secretaries” hands before going to the minister so it would have been returned with a nice little post it saying “Treasury’s recommendation is actually yes, please adjust your comments”

And F$%^ your double posts I made it to troublemaker (also known as the voice of reason)

Sleaz274 7:41 pm 10 Jul 08

G-Fresh your arguments surely apply just as well to police, teachers and nurses who have to fight tooth and nail for years through their unions to get a pay rise which basically keeps them up with inflation and they gave away privileges or agreed to extra hours to get.

If I was the analyst in Treasury writing on this one I would have recommended no. It is an avoidable cost on a politically sensitive issue which does not increase capacity or quality or incentives and is largely out of scale with current renumeration packages used in the wider community. It should not be incorporated into base pay and become the standard.

Or something like that…

Ahh to be close to the corridors of power at least someone gets looked after. Just a note for everybody in Australia if your pay has not increased by 4% this last financial year you are getting a pay decrease due to inflation and should be asking your Boss why your base has not been increased.

DJ 7:26 pm 10 Jul 08

I bet performance pay comes back in when Rudd fails to hold onto the PMs job (sooner the better IMHO)… and there will be no recognition of it having already been added to base pay.

Pollies and perks.

Thumper 5:53 pm 10 Jul 08

Mag 58 will do me…

smokey4 5:31 pm 10 Jul 08

Totally obscene and come the revolution by the masses… we may need a guillotine.

verbal 4:24 pm 10 Jul 08

Because Rudd was worried that by giving secretaries bonuses at the discretion of the Government of the day, you were likely to get secretaries being pro-government and not independant, and in my experience there was a lot more focus on “responsive” than would perhaps be appropriate in the Westminster system.

So he canned the bonuses and extended their contracts to make them more independant.

The interesting thing is that they basically rolled the whole value of the bonus into the base salary as a method of removing it from the pay system. 50% of DEEWR currently have access to discretionary bonuses of up to 20%. I doubt very much that they will roll 18.9% of that into the new base salary of the public servants if they wish to get rid of those bonuses in the new Collective Agreement that they are negoicating at the moment!

AussieGal83 4:02 pm 10 Jul 08

Just out of curiosity, why was their performance pay scrapped?

Overheard 2:21 pm 10 Jul 08

Overheard said :

This is such a non-story, right up there with every other ‘Shock horror politicians/public servants receive payrise’ story.

Eek, quoting myself; I’ll get hairy palms.

Point of clarification, Albigeois. In saying it’s a non-story, that was a crack at news.com.au and others that made this into an issue, not at you for raising it here.

G-Fresh 2:18 pm 10 Jul 08

High remunerations attract high quality individuals, and hopefully better results. With increased pays may come increased responsibilities.

Wouldn’t mind a pay-rise yourself? Earn it.

Clown Killer 1:38 pm 10 Jul 08

I wouldn’t call rolling an annual performance bonus that you probably already got anyway into your standard remuneration a pay rise – seeing as you already got the money anyway, and gee, I guess it will effect all of howmany, maybe 15 people accross the APS. Like Overheard said, it’s a non story.

wishuwell 1:36 pm 10 Jul 08

Refer to Gazette no. s135, Friday, 4 July 2008. Some kind of explaination…

Thumper 1:33 pm 10 Jul 08

True,

but I wouldn’t mind a 20% pay rise 😉

Overheard 1:20 pm 10 Jul 08

Never let it be said that News Limited gives you the full story.

Over at the ABC Online: ‘A spokesman for Kevin Rudd says the figure was recommended by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal to make up for the performance bonus scheme being scrapped.’ i.e. they’re rolling it in to base rates. I went searching for the Rem Trib determination to back this up but failed.

This is such a non-story, right up there with every other ‘Shock horror politicians/public servants receive payrise’ story.

The intelligence of the average commentator on this at news.com.au is typified by this statement from one of their posters…. oh, it’s gone. Someone was sounding off about ‘greedy politicians (sic)’ granting themselves large payrises.

Albigeois 1:18 pm 10 Jul 08

Ok so that link isn’t right any more… here is article:

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has given the nation’s most senior public servants a $1400-a-week pay rise, despite calling on other sectors of the workforce to show wage restraint.

Mr Rudd has signed off on a 18.9 per cent pay rise for the secretaries of all 19 government departments, taking the packages for the highest paid public servants from $410,890 to $488,557.

The wage rises for the nation’s public service chiefs comes as unions and employer groups argue over how much extra low-paid workers should receive.

The ACTU has applied for a $26-a-week increase in all pay scale wage rates but key employer group the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) thinks $13.30 is more reasonable.

The Federal Government has declined to nominate a figure but says the Australian Fair Pay Commission (AFPC) should balance the potential impact of minimum wage increases on inflation, employment and the financial needs of low-paid workers.

AFPC chairman Professor Ian Harper will announce his decision at 2pm (AEST) today in Melbourne.

Professor Richard Mulgan from the Crawford School of Economics and Government said the wage rates in the private sector were much higher, but there was also a greater degree of pressure and responsibility.

However, he said it may be difficult for the Government to justify the generous wage increases for senior public servants amid its calls for others to show wage restraint.

“This is the difficultly with relativities in this area. It’s a question of who you compare yourself with,” he said on ABC radio today.

“If you compare yourself with a private sector manager then you’re not earning a great deal.”

“On the other hand, if you’re comparing yourself with the people you’re working alongside and other public sector workers at a time when you’re trying to talk a little bit about wage restraint … it’s not particularly helpful.”

Earlier this year, Mr Rudd urged politicians to show restraint on their own pay levels as an example to the community to keep inflation pressure down.

“We need to be able to face the Australian community in the eye and say that we in the privileged position of this place are doing one small bit when it comes to exercising some wage restraint on our part,” he said in February.

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