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1 Background

The APS Remuneration Report (the Report) is an annual snapshot of remuneration, including Base Salary and other remuneration related benefits and payments, across the whole Australian Public Service (APS) as at 31 December each year. This 2012 report is based on a snapshot of data collected as at 31 December 2012.

The Report provides APS agencies with:

  • information on remuneration by classification level;
  • comparisons with the 2011 APS Remuneration Report;
  • detail on the key components of remuneration packages; and
  • a total APS remuneration picture.

This 2012 report is the second edition produced by the APSC. Between 2001 and 2010, the annual APS Remuneration Survey was undertaken by an external consultant, and from 2010 it was mandated that all APS agencies participate.

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 50.5% of the APS workforce and are influential on median figures.

At 31 December 2012, 113 agencies made up the APS and provided remuneration data for 2,727 SES employees and 150,895 non-SES employees. Please see Appendix A.1: Methodology for information on which employees are included and excluded from this Report.

2012 APS context

Changes in the profile of the APS workforce has contributed to the 2012 remuneration outcomes to a greater extent than in previous years: see explanation at Section 2.1: Base Salary.

The current enterprise bargaining cycle of the APS has also influenced outcomes in 2012. While the majority of enterprise bargaining was undertaken in 2011, the bargaining completed in 2012 covered approximately 16% of the APS workforce. The 2011 APS Remuneration Report noted that this portion of the APS workforce did not receive a general pay rise in 2011 and this may have contributed to a lower median Base Salary increase than would otherwise have been the case. With enterprise bargaining essentially being completed in the APS for the current bargaining round, the 16% of employees that did not receive a general pay increase in the 2011 period did so in 2012.

APS wages policy

In January 2011, the Australian Government Employment Bargaining Framework was replaced by the Australian Public Service Bargaining Framework (APSBF). The APSBF provides a number of remuneration policy objectives, and recommended that salary increases in new APS workplace arrangements not exceed an average annualised wage increase (AAWI) of 3%.

Where agencies seek to establish an AAWI above 3%, an assessment of affordability by the Department of Finance and Deregulation is required. Agencies with salary rates below a threshold for a classification (5th percentile of the 2010 APS rates) may increase those salary rates to the threshold without that portion being counted in the AAWI assessment. The movement of employees through increment points within the salary range for their classification is not included in the wages increase calculation.

APS Executive Remuneration Management

In May 2012 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 Public Service Commissioner before offering remuneration above a certain notional amount to an APS employee. 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 APS Classification Rules 2000 (the Rules) establish the general APS-wide classification arrangements. There are 11 APS Groups and two Training classifications within the Rules and all APS employees must be assigned a classification. In this report the only trainee data included in the results is for Graduates.

There may be a number of specialist classifications within each Group. In some agencies, specialist classifications attract different salary rates which expand the salary range for the classification Group within which they sit. For example, both Medical Officer Classes 3 and 4 reside within Group 8. The remuneration data for specialist classifications is included in the relevant APS classification to which it corresponds. For example, the salaries for Medical Officer Classes 3 and 4 will be reported in the Executive Level 2 classification results.

Executive summary

Changes in APS workforce mobility and profile trends have been the key influences on the median movement in 2012. In the Australian Public Service (APS), the overall median Base Salary movement for all APS employees, taking into account both general salary increases and incremental advancement, from 2011 to 2012 was 5.8%.

From 2011 to 2012 the median Base Salary for non-Senior Executive Service (SES) classifications increased by 5.9% while the median Base Salary for SES classifications increased by 4.7%.

The median is the midpoint of all values. It is the point for which 50% of values are below and 50% of values are above (see Definitions).

There has been a marked reduction in the number of APS positions advertised for filling in 2012 compared with 2011 and a reduction in the number of non-ongoing APS employees. In 2012 there was a reduction of 24% in the total number of jobs gazetted on the APSjobs website. In 2011 there was over 29,000 employment outcomes gazetted compared with just over 20,700 employment outcomes in 2012. This has changed the trend in workforce movement both in and out of the APS, as well as promotions resulting in a larger proportion of APS employees remaining at the same classification in the same agency.

When employees remain at the same classification for longer, the value of the median moves towards the value of the third quartile (Q3) and the median movement reflects both general wage increases and incremental salary movement.

Non-ongoing APS employees are generally paid at the lower pay points in a salary scale due to the limited length of the non-ongoing contracts (see explanation at Section 5: Additional Information). The reduction of non-ongoing employees in 2012 compared with 2011 has reduced the proportion of employees being paid at the lower end of salary scales, which shifts the median towards the higher end of the scale.

At the SES classifications, the use of performance bonuses in 2012 has remained consistent with 2011 at all classifications. However, there has been a reduction in the use of motor vehicle allowances from 80.4% to 77.4%.

The Public Sector Superannuation Scheme and Public Sector Superannuation Accumulation Plan are the superannuation funds for 89.3% of the APS workforce in 2012. Only 5.6% of APS employees were members of the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme, down from 6.4% in 2011, with approximately 31.5% of them aged 55 years or over. However these members represent a significant proportion of the SES workforce: 26.0% at the SES 1 level, 35.4% at the SES 2 level and 42.9% at the SES 3 level.

Womens’ median Base Salary as a proportion of mens’ median Base Salary is between 97.4% at the APS 1 classification to 100.8% at the APS 3 classification. With the exception of the APS 1 and SES 1 classifications, women’s median Base Salary is within 1% of men’s median Base Salary for all classifications.

Table 1.1: Median key remuneration components summary
Classification Base Salary median $ Base Salary median movement 2011 to 2012 % Total Remuneration Package (TRP) median $ TRP median movement 2011 to 2012 % Total Reward (TR) median $ TR median movement 2011 to 2012 %

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 full definitions see Appendix 2.

Graduate 56944 3.2 65668 3.0 65713 3.1
APS 1 43944 6.8 51024 7.5 51352 7.7
APS 2 52998 5.0 62025 6.1 62514 6.8
APS 3 59677 6.2 69329 6.6 69829 6.5
APS 4 66923 5.8 77602 6.8 78041 7.4
APS 5 72487 6.5 84226 6.4 84867 6.4
APS 6 84478 6.2 98247 6.2 98906 6.4
EL 1 104825 5.5 122181 6.0 123333 6.7
EL 2 130460 5.1 152371 4.9 153829 5.2
SES 1 172000 4.5 228312 5.2 230406 5.0
SES 2 221266 5.7 285608 4.9 288715 4.7
SES 3 282931 3.5 362950 5.7 366401 5.1

Figure 1.1: Percentage change in median Base Salary by classification

Source: Table 2.1

Figure 1.2: Percentage change in median Total Remuneration Package by classification

Source: Table 2.2

Figure 1.3: Percentage change in median Total Reward by classification

Source: Table 2.4

Last reviewed: 
29 March 2018