Statement: Workplace Bargaining Policy 2018

Last updated: 06 Feb 2018

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The new Commonwealth public sector bargaining policy has been released.

The remuneration of Australian Government employees is fair. Employees also enjoy generous and flexible conditions of employment. Fair and competitive pay and conditions are instrumental in attracting people of high calibre.

The policy will continue to deliver affordable wage increases with terms and conditions in line with community expectations.

Australian Government enterprise agreements have provided an appropriate balance between managerial prerogative and the flexibility for employees to balance their work and private life needs.

Key aspects of the previous bargaining framework continue in the newly announced policy. Agencies will be able to offer wage increases averaging up to 2 per cent per annum, with costs to be met within existing budgets. A number of new flexibilities will be available to agencies, to support business outcomes.

The new policy will apply immediately and it will cover Australian Public Service and non-APS Australian Government entities and Members of Parliament Staff. It will not cover the Australian Defence Force.

Key features of the Workplace Bargaining Policy 2018 include:

  • Conditions of employment may be bargained in exchange for gains in other areas, subject to an overall requirement of “no enhancement.”  Some terms will not be entertained for trading such as reduced standard hours of work or increased salary beyond the policy’s cap.
  • Consultation and dispute resolution arrangements are to adopt the model terms from the Fair Work Regulations 2009.
  • The right of an employee to choose to belong or not to belong to a union is fundamental.
  • Side deals to an agreement entered into with a union are discouraged.
  • Reliance on a broader range of employment arrangements is encouraged. For example, the use of individual arrangements could be entertained.
  • Government business enterprises and the Reserve Bank of Australia will be required to apply the policy to the extent practicable. They will be required to keep the portfolio Minister and the APS Commissioner informed of their approach.

The Australian Public Service Commission will work with agency heads to implement the new policy.

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