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Chapter 1: Introduction

The Australian Public Service (APS) Remuneration Report provides an annual snapshot of remuneration across the whole APS. The 2017 report is based on data collected from all APS agencies as at 31 December 2017.

This year’s edition presents information in a new format. Key changes include:

  • a streamlined format to improve readability;
  • most detailed tables within a standalone Appendix; and
  • the separation of all data tables into an Excel workbook available for download to provide the facility for readers to investigate the underlying detail.

HTML and PDF versions of this report, along with the full set of underlying tables, are available from the Australian Public Service Commission’s website at: Remuneration surveys

Employees included in this report

The APS Remuneration Report includes employees engaged under the Public Service Act 1999. It excludes casual employees, locally engaged staff, employees on leave without pay and those at the trainee/cadet classification. Agency Heads and public office holders are not covered as their remuneration is set by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Valid data was received for 139,327 employees—2,617 Senior Executive Service (SES) and 136,710 non-SES employees. Overall remuneration headcount has fallen slightly from 139,885 in December 2016. This is in line with the decrease in headcount reported in the December 2017 APS Statistical Bulletin, and on trend with the decline in the overall APS headcount since 2011.

Ongoing engagements decreased from 11,204 in 2016, to 9,213 in 2017. Ongoing promotions decreased from 12,823 in 2016 to 9,528 in 2017. These changes can affect median values as newly engaged or promoted employees tend to commence on salaries at the bottom of their salary scale.

Executive remuneration management

The APS Executive Remuneration Management Policy provides that total executive remuneration should not exceed 65% of the lowest pay point of the Secretaries structure. See: Executive remuneration for details.

The Australian Public Service Commissioner can approve remuneration above this point where compelling circumstances apply.

APS Classifications

This report presents remuneration data using the classification system outlined in the Public Service Classification Rules 2000 (the Classification Rules).

A number of agencies use ‘local’ classifications in addition to the approved classifications. For the purposes of this report, the remuneration data for a local classification has been incorporated into the remuneration data for the corresponding APS classification.

The Classification Rules provide for a number of trainee classifications. Only data covering Graduates have been included in this report.

Workplace Bargaining Policy

APS agencies negotiate their own enterprise agreements within a policy framework established by the Australian Government. During the coverage period of this report, the Workplace Bargaining Policy allowed for general remuneration increases to be negotiated up to an average of 2.0% per annum.