Big announcements on pay, bargaining, consultation, and union rights in APS

CPSU

The Labor Government has announced significant changes for the Australian Public Service, including an important announcement on pay, and a better approach to bargaining and consultation.

These announcements are a substantial shift from the previous Government’s approach to APS bargaining and industrial relations.

CPSU members have long campaigned for genuine bargaining across the public sector and to re-establish consultation and representation rights. The Government’s announcements represent real progress for APS employees on these matters.

However, the Government’s interim pay position of 3% falls short of cost of living pressures and we need to campaign together to ensure we get the outcome members deserve in centralised service-wide bargaining.

What do each of these changes mean?

Interim pay rises for APS employees

  • The Government has announced an interim pay increase of 3% for APS employees who are due a pay rise between 1 September 2022 and 31 August 2023. If your agency is due a pay rise within that period that is less than 3%, it will be topped up to 3%.
  • 3% is an improvement on the previous government’s wage caps, freezes and delays.
  • However, 3% does not keep up with cost of living increases. We need to turn this into real, long term gains for all APS staff by campaigning for the outcomes that members deserve in centralised service-wide bargaining.

A return to genuine bargaining

  • The Government has announced centralised service-wide bargaining for the APS.
  • In recent times wage caps, wage freezes, and bans on conditions improvements have left little to no room to negotiate with genuine decision-makers.
  • Centralised bargaining means genuine negotiations directly with APS decision-makers, and the gains we win will apply to employees right across the APS. It also means we can start addressing the disparities in wages and conditions that have developed across the APS.

Consultation rights restored

  • The CPSU has been campaigning long and hard, and now the new Labor Government has moved to restore consultation rights in all Commonwealth workplaces.
  • The government released Circular 2022/08: Genuine and effective employee and union consultation in Commonwealth agencies, which requires agencies to once again consult employees and unions on decisions before they are made.

Your right to representation

  • In a big win, the APSC has just released Circular 2022/09: Union representation in Commonwealth agencies, which guarantees your right to be represented by your union.
  • The Circular also supports union delegates to perform their important role in the workplace.

What happens next?

Paid time meetings

These changes are significant, and it’s important that employees have a strong voice and role in how they are implemented in each agency. The CPSU will be requesting paid time meetings to discuss the changes with employees.

Bring strength to the table

Winning the right to genuine bargaining is a good start, but it is only the beginning. What we can achieve depends on the strength we bring to the table, and that strength is determined by our membership.

Now is the time to join your union or to ask your colleagues to join with you.

We need to know what you want in bargaining

If you haven’t already be sure to take our bargaining survey to have your say on pay.

When we come to develop the union’s claim for bargaining, only CPSU members get to have a say and have a vote.

Join now so that you’re ready to be involved.

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