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1. Background

The APS Remuneration Report (the Report) is an annual snapshot of remuneration across the whole Australian Public Service (APS). This 2014 report is based on a snapshot of collected data as at 31 December 2014.

The Report provides transparency on APS remuneration in the context of spending public money and includes:

  • information on remuneration by classification level;
  • comparisons with the 2013 APS Remuneration Report;
  • detail on the key components of remuneration packages; and
  • a total APS remuneration picture.

This report is the fourth edition in a series where all APS agencies have provided data. Between 2001 and 2010, the annual APS Remuneration Survey was undertaken by an external consultant on a sample basis. From 2010, it was mandated that all APS agencies participate, with the Australian Public Service Commission undertaking the survey.

The 2014 report is not intended to inform enterprise bargaining. The Australian Government Public Sector Workplace Bargaining Policy sets the parameters for the consideration of remuneration increases. Under this policy, all increases to remuneration must be offset by genuine, quantifiable productivity gains and must be affordable within an agency's existing budget.

When considering the Report data, readers should note that the large agencies have a significant impact. The Department of Human Services, the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Defence make up approximately 49.2% of the APS workforce and are influential on median figures.

For 2014, 110 data sets were provided, reporting on remuneration for 2,406 Senior Executive Service (SES) employees and 136,991 non-SES employees. Please see Appendix A.1: Methodology for information on which employees are included and excluded from this Report.

2014 APS context

The APS continued to experience a reduction in employee engagements in 2014. The APS Statistical Bulletin snAPShot series reports 2,728 ongoing engagements in the 2014 calendar year. This is down from 6,708 in 2013, 9,086 in 2012, and 12,736 in 2011. As fewer employees have been engaged to the commencement pay point at each classification level, the proportion of employees receiving a salary at the top of their salary scale has increased. This affects where the median pay point in a particular classification lies.

All APS enterprise agreements reached their nominal expiry date on 30 June 2014. Most agreements provided a final general wage increase during the 2013 calendar year. Two agreements provided a final wage increase in January 2014. No replacement agreements commenced in the 2014 calendar year.

APS Executive Remuneration Management

In May 2013 the Government introduced the APS Executive Remuneration Management (ERM) policy to assist in maintaining appropriate pay relativities at the senior levels, reflective of particular roles and responsibilities. The ERM requires agency heads to gain the agreement of the Australian Public Service Commissioner before offering remuneration to an APS employee above a certain notional amount. The notional amount is a percentage of the base remuneration of the Secretaries' classification structure, which increases in line with Secretaries' pay increases.

APS classifications

The Public Service Classification Rules 2000 (the Rules) establish the service-wide classification framework for the APS. The classification structure reflected in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 of the Rules is based on a single spine of classification levels, underpinned by a suite of training classifications.

The approved classifications are: APS Levels 1-6; Executive Levels 1-2; and Senior Executive Bands 1-3. There are also a small number of occupational-specific classifications such as Medical Officers, Meat Inspectors, Examiners of Patents and Customs Level 1-5. Under the Rules, all APS employees must be assigned an approved classification. In this report the only trainee data included in the results is for Graduates.

A number of agencies use local titles in addition to the approved classification. This approach allows jobs to be labelled in a way that is most relevant to both the job and agency, and can assist with attracting and recognising specialist employees. Local titles are informal labels and not approved classifications. This allows an agency to segment their workforce and may attract different salary rates which expand the salary range for the classification within which they sit. The remuneration data for a local title is included in the relevant APS classification to which it corresponds.

Executive summary

From 2013 to 2014, the median Base Salary for non-Senior Executive Service (SES) classifications increased by 0.1% while the median Base Salary for SES classifications increased by 0.2%.

The overall median Base Salary movement for all APS employees, taking into account both general salary increases and incremental advancement, from 2013 to 2014 was 0.1%.

The median is the midpoint of all values. The median base salary is affected by a number of factors including general wage increases, performance-based incremental advancement and employee mobility.

All APS enterprise agreements that cover non-SES employees expired 30 June 2014. No replacement agreements commenced in the 2014 calendar year. Only a small number of agreements delivered wage increases in the first half of the 2014 calendar year.

The number of APS positions advertised continued to decline in 2014. There was a 61% reduction in the total number of jobs gazetted on the APSjobs website compared with 2013.

Figure 1.1 shows the year-on-year proportional change in median base salary for non-SES and SES over the past ten years. It shows that, while the median Base Salary remained stable in 2014, this has been preceded by a decade of constant remuneration growth. Further breakdown by classification is in Chapter 6.

At the SES classifications, the use of performance bonuses has levelled off after several years of decline (see Chapter 3.3 for details). There has also been a reduction in the number of SES employees receiving a motor vehicle allowance, from 77.4% to 74.5% (see Chapter 3.2 for details).

The median Base Salary for women, as a proportion of the median Base Salary for men, is between 96.8% at the SES 3 classification to 100.3% at the APS 4 classification. With the exception of the APS 1 and SES 3 classifications, the median Base Salary for women is within 1% of the median Base Salary for men at all classifications (see Table 5.4).

1.1: Percentage change in median Base Salary by classification group, 2005 to 2014


Source: Table 6.2

Table 1.1: Median key remuneration components summary
Classification Base Salary
median $
Base Salary median movement 2013 to 2014 % Total Remuneration Package (TRP) median $ TRP median movement 2013 to 2014 % Total Reward (TR) median $ TR median movement 2013 to 2014 %

Source: Tables 2.1, 2.2 and 2.4

Note: Base Salary is the full time annualised salary, Total Remuneration Package (TRP) is Base Salary plus benefits, and Total Reward is TRP plus bonuses. For definitions see Appendix A.2.

Graduate 60,158 1.3 69,342 0.7 69,342 0.7
APS 1 47,004 3.8 54,858 2.8 55,059 3.1
APS 2 54,588 0.0 63,581 0.0 64,906 0.4
APS 3 61,512 0.0 72,116 0.3 72,291 -0.2
APS 4 69,239 0.3 80,210 0.4 80,760 -0.3
APS 5 74,331 0.0 87,427 0.7 87,844 0.5
APS 6 86,844 0.0 102,246 0.8 102,655 0.8
EL 1 108,013 0.0 126,976 0.8 127,690 0.5
EL 2 133,905 0.1 158,026 0.6 159,105 0.4
SES 1 178,617 0.2 238,223 1.1 238,931 1.0
SES 2 230,000 0.0 299,720 1.6 300,197 1.0
SES 3 302,000 0.7 389,011 2.5 393,272 2.7

Figure 1.2: Percentage change in median Base Salary by classification


Source: Table 2.1

Figure 1.3: Percentage change in median Total Remuneration Package by classification


Source: Table 2.2

Figure 1.4: Percentage change in median Total Reward by classification


Source: Table 2.4

Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018