Today, the Government formally outlined its bargaining parameters to unions involved in negotiations for a new Public Sector Union Wages Agreement.
These parameters are consistent with the Government’s Wages Policy and provide the framework for all State Service Industrial Agreement negotiations.
The Wages Policy allows for salary increases of 6 per cent over three years, and for any improved conditions of service for employees to be offset by efficiencies and productivities. This increase would start from the first pay in December this year.
In addition to the 6 per cent salary increase offered, many State Service employees are also entitled to additional salary increments after every 12 months of continuous service, which adds between 0.5 and 2 per cent extra per year.
The Tasmanian Government Wages Policy is consistent with increases in other jurisdictions, including the Australian Government, the Northern Territory, the ACT, and is also higher than the 1.5 per cent currently applied in South Australia. For the past five years, public sector wage increases have been above average CPI growth of 1.8 per cent per annum.
Importantly, the Tasmanian Government’s bargaining parameters will –
– ensure all negotiated Wages Agreements are fair, affordable and funded from within Agency budgets without above-budget wage costs necessitating any reduction of program funding, reduction in services, or any increases in fees, charges or levies for Tasmanians;
– allow us to employ more nurses, doctors, teachers and other frontline workers as we implement our long-term plan for Tasmania’s future; and
– help the Government continue to return a balanced budget, providing an insurance policy for all Tasmanians and an ability to deal with unexpected events, like floods, fires or additional health services like vaccination programs.
If the wages cap increased by just one per cent, it would cost an additional $28 million per annum, including superannuation, reducing the investment in health, education and other frontline services for Tasmanians.
The Government is also committed to making the State Service an employer of choice, by offering improved flexible working arrangements, career path development, and an inclusive and diverse working environment.
Tasmania has an excellent, dedicated and professional public sector. I hope our negotiations will be constructive and can commit to keeping you informed of discussion via regular messages from the Treasurer, who will be the key spokesperson for the Government.
The State Service Management Office website (www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/ssmo) will be regularly updated and detail progress on negotiations.
Will Hodgman MP Premier