The Palaszczuk Government has today moved to ensure certainty and stability in wage outcomes for its public sector workforce.
The Government has confirmed that under the State Government Wages Policy, annual wage increases will continue to be limited to 2.5% per annum, delivering fair and reasonable annual increases while, at the same time, being fiscally responsible and providing budget certainty.
In addition, a one-off payment of $1250 will be available for new agreements finalised between 31 March 2018 and 30 March 2021.
“The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia last month called for all levels of government to provide additional support above existing caps on wages growth to drive economic growth,” Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said.
“The offer of a one-off payment will provide this additional economic support while maintaining the budget balance.”
More than a dozen agreements are under negotiation, and more are due to commence bargaining shortly. Four negotiations have been referred to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) for arbitration, including the ‘Core’ agreement which covers more than 30,000 of the State’s public sector employees.
“The Palaszczuk Government is hopeful of finalising the four matters before the QIRC without the need for an arbitrated outcome. Our door remains open and we will be happy to resume negotiations with all parties,” Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said.
The bulk of public sector employees up to and including Administrative Officer level 8 (AO8) or equivalent will be eligible for the one-off payment.
A one-off payment was a feature of the Government’s offer in recent negotiations with teachers and firefighters which resulted in agreement being reached.
“The positive response to the payment in those negotiations has prompted the government to extend the offer to other agreements in the current bargaining round,” Ms Grace said.
“I am sure the Government’s enhanced offer will be welcomed in bargaining across the public service, especially by those on the lower pay scales.”
Ms Grace said the one-off payment would not be available for senior executives or senior officers.
The one-off payment will also be extended to the majority of certified agreements already settled in this bargaining round. This will include agreements made with nurses and midwives, teacher aides, school cleaners and medical officers.
“I am also pleased to announce that the Government will be making changes to better support gender equity”, Ms Trad said.
“We will provide gender equitable access to paid parental leave by amending the Paid Parental Leave Directive.
“We will also be seeking to amend public sector awards to remove the hours-based barrier to increment progression for part-time employees.
“The changes to implement these important gender equity improvements will be made as soon as practicable.”