Following several weeks and many hours of continued discussions with Unions, yesterday the Government made a revised wages and conditions offer to unions that heard their outstanding concerns and continues to provide a fair, affordable, wage increase for our hard-working State Service employees.
I have always said that we would sit down and negotiate in good faith to ensure our state service employees receive a fair, reasonable and affordable pay rise.
I am pleased that Unions have responded that they will take this offer, that delivers a pay rise, eases cost-of-living pressures and improves conditions to their members so that they can now decide for themselves.
Offers will also progress to member ballot for Allied Health Professionals, Ambulance Officers, Firefighters, Port Arthur, Ministerial Drivers, Dental Officers and Radiation Therapists.
The Police Association has confirmed that the result of their ballot was that their members have accepted the offer. This is on top of receivedfrom the United Workers Union that Education Facility Attendants in Tasmanian schools and colleges have also voted yes in support of the proposed Education Facility Attendants Salaries and Conditions of Employment Agreement 2022. We understand that the yes vote was over 90 per cent which is a great result.
While the headline wages offer remains the same, to alleviate cost-of-living pressures and concerns around attraction and retention within the Tasmania State Service (TSS) the One-Off Cost of Living payment will now be incorporated into base salaries in year one of the Agreement.
The offer includes:
- A 3.5 per cent wage increase in the first year, 3 per cent in the second year, 3 per cent in the third year;
- A Cost of Living/Retention payment of $1000 to all TSS employees into their base salary in the first year, which provides an ongoing benefit to employees; and
- A further payment for employees paid up to the top of General Stream Band 3, which will be $500 into the base salary, a one-off payment of $1000 (pro rata) in year one, $500 (pro rata) in year 2 and $500 (pro rata) in year three.
This means in 2022-23, employees will effectively receive an increase in earnings between 4 per cent to 9.16 per cent, when taking into account percentage increases and one-off payments.
Over the life of the Agreement, the increase in earnings is between 10 per cent and 17 per cent, again taking into account percentage increases and one-off payments.
This offer recognises the increased cost of living pressures on Tasmanian households, and the need for TSS employees to receive a fair and reasonable pay rise.
We have also listened to feedback from unions around attraction and retention, and improved employment conditions previously offered to TSS employees, in addition to salary increases and additional payments for employees on lower incomes over three years.
Further and improved conditions for employees covered by the Public Sector Union Wages Agreement include:
- Support to primary caregivers, with both paid and unpaid Grandparent Leave available where the grandparent has primary responsibility for the care of a newborn or newly adopted grandchild.
- 5 days of Aboriginal Cultural Leave per annum and recognition of significant Aboriginal kinship relationships for the purpose of accessing personal (Carer’s) leave and compassionate and bereavement leave.
- No leave penalty where TSS workplaces shutdown for 3 days over the Christmas period.
- An increase to the night shift penalty rate to 27.5 per cent.
- School support staff can elect to work and be paid up to 44 weeks per year.
- Fixed term and fixed term casuals will have access to conversion to permanency after 12 months continuous service and on meeting certain criteria.
- Improved Superannuation benefits to be extended to all periods of unpaid Parental Leave and extended personal leave without pay over 4 weeks.
This is in additional to other key conditions, contained in the previous offer, such as:
- an increase in parental leave to 18 weeks for the primary caregiver and 4 weeks for the secondary caregiver at the time of the birth. In addition to this, if the secondary caregiver takes over primary care responsibilities within the first 18 months of the life of the child, they get a further 12 weeks paid parental leave;
- Utilisation of bereavement leave to recognise still birth and miscarriage;
- 5 days paid leave per year to be used for activities or appointments associated with an employee’s disability;
- Up to 10 days paid leave per year to support foster carers, recognising diverse family arrangements;
- 4 weeks paid leave and 48 weeks unpaid leave for employees undertaking a gender affirmation process; and
- paid Family Violence Leave will be increased to 20 days per personal leave year.
We have also committed to continue discussing important workforce issues following an agreement being reached on wages, as we recognise that these are complex matters which deserve focused attention.
We remain committed to finalising an offer and reaching agreement to ensure our hard-working employees get a much-deserved pay rise. This offer comes following ongoing and lengthy discussions with the Unions on the matters that are important to them, to enable them to provide their in-principle agreement this week, with an understanding that they will then have an opportunity to consult with their members.