Wages cap ignored with 4.5 per cent offer.
At the time Red Tape went to press, a 4.5 per cent wage increase, which includes the legislated 0.5 per cent superannuation increase, was had been offered by the new Minns Labor Government.
The interim pay increase, likely to be the last before the State Government commits to its promise of returning the Industrial Relations Commission to a role as an independent arbiter, would be the largest since the Liberal National Coalition came to power in 2011.
However, at the time of press, the State Government had not replied to a number of other demands sent by the PSA to Industrial Relations Minister Sophie Cotsis.
The letter, from PSA General Secretary Stewart Little, makes eight additional demands about the future of the Government’s employee relations.
- The restoration of an independent NSW Industrial Relations Commission and the restoration of the industrial court functions to this jurisdiction. A critical feature of the NSW Industrial Relations system is for the Industrial Relations Commission to be able to exercise its jurisdiction to determine fair and reasonable conditions of employment in an independent and unconstrained manner and for industrial entitlements to be able to be enforced in an appropriate and efficient jurisdiction.
- Confirmation of when the Government Sector Employment Regulation 2014 will be repealed.
- In order to effectively reform the public sector it will be vital that the parties engage in a close dialogue in respect to the operational efficiency of each agency. It is the PSA’s view that efficiency outcomes should be achieved through our existing consultation frameworks of Departmental Committees and Joint Consultative Committees. This approach should be adopted in place of the existing efficiency dividend process. The efficiency dividend should be removed. The PSA can commit through a consultation process to work in an interest-based approach to deliver real outcomes in relation to productivity and efficiency.
- A commitment to job security and the permanent redeployment of frontline workers during the reform process with no forced redundancies and redundancy offered as a last resort.
- The achievement of job security for public sector employees should also include addressing the inappropriate use of casuals, temporary staff, labour hire and external consultant practices.
- The repeal of the Government Sector Employment Act and replacing it with modern legislation that simplifies the operation of the public sector, in consultation with public sector unions.
- A review of the Senior Executive Service in particular, the removal of provisions that provide a payment of 38 weeks’ pay to Senior Executive Service executives when their contracts are terminated.
- Please provide the Terms of Reference and timeframe for the Industrial Relations
“We are glad that we are now dealing with a government willing to talk to the unions that represent its employees,” said Mr Little. “While we would like to have seen a larger interim pay increase, we need to keep into account the previous government went to the polls with a policy to continue its unfair wages cap.
“Regardless of who is in power, the PSA will continue to push for the best possible wage increase for all members.”