Open letter to Australia Public Service Employees - APS bargaining
I’m writing to update you on the Commonwealth’s final pay offer.
Today, the Commonwealth informed employee bargaining representatives that it will improve its pay offer by bringing forward the Year 1 pay increase of 4 per cent by 12 weeks to 21 December 2023.
Due to the expected timing of when you’ll vote on your enterprise agreement, you could get this benefit in the form of a one-off payment, if your agency meets certain conditions.
How to get the improved offer
You could get a one-off payment to cover the period back to 21 December 2023 if:
- your agency’s enterprise agreement is finalised and given to you for consideration by 14 March 2024
- a majority of colleagues in your agency vote to support that enterprise agreement.
This one-off payment represents the additional earnings from a 4 per cent pay increase from 21 December 2023 until salary rates are formally increased on 14 March 2024.
How much you could get
Subject to the above conditions, the Commonwealth’s final pay offer provides:
- pay increases of:
- 4.0 per cent from March 2024
- 3.8 per cent from March 2025
- 3.4 per cent from March 2026
- a one-off payment
The Commonwealth’s pay offer still includes:
- a realignment payment if you are scheduled to get a pay increase before 14 March 2024. Employees in 22 agencies have already received a realignment payment and employees in another 13 agencies will receive one by the end of the year.
- base salary lifts for nearly 8,000 employees in over 80 agencies that moves towards greater commonality of pay scales across the APS.
You could get a one-off payment shortly after the successful yes vote on your agency’s enterprise agreement. You won’t need to wait for your enterprise agreement to start after it is approved by the Fair Work Commission to get the one-off payment. Your 4 per cent increase in salary would apply from 14 March 2024.
Under this pay offer, an APS6 employee on the minimum salary range at Services Australia could get an 11.2 per cent pay increase over 3 years, a 1.8 per cent base salary lift over 3 years, and a one‑off payment of $807.
Use the Australian Public Service Commission pay calculator to work out how this improved pay offer could impact you at apsc.gov.au/apsbargaining.
Significant enhancements to your conditions
Pay is one aspect of the APS bargaining package of pay and conditions. In addition to the improved pay offer, you can expect enhancements to flexible working arrangements, parental leave, the use of personal/carers leave, cultural leave and a suite of provisions to support First Nations employment. The pay offer and these significant enhancements available to you through the APS bargaining package of pay and conditions, offers a great outcome for all APS employees. Read more about these conditions on apsc.gov.au/apsbargaining.
What happens next?
Today, we officially conclude APS-wide bargaining. Agency-level bargaining will continue, with many agencies close to concluding.
These are the next steps in the process:
- The Australian Public Service Commission will release all common clauses negotiated during APS‑wide bargaining to be included in your agency’s enterprise agreement. This will be available on the Commission’s website shortly.
- Your agency needs to conclude agency-level bargaining and finalise its enterprise agreement. You will be given 7 days to consider your agency’s proposed agreement before you vote. During this time, your agency will also explain to you the key terms of the agreement.
- Your agency will need to give you the proposed enterprise agreement to consider by 14 March 2024 to make sure you can a one-off payment.
- If a majority of your colleagues who cast a valid vote approve the agreement, you’ll get a one-off payment shortly after, and an increase in your salary of 4 per cent from 14 March 2024.
- Your agency will submit the enterprise agreement to the Fair Work Commission for approval.
- You’ll get conditions such as flexible working arrangements and parental leave improvements when your new enterprise agreement starts following Fair Work Commission approval.
Timelines for when you’ll vote will be managed by your agency. It is possible some agencies will organise for you to vote on your enterprise agreement before the end of 2023.
I would like to acknowledge the significant effort of all parties who engaged in APS-wide bargaining. Negotiating over 100 enterprise agreements at the same time is no simple task. These genuine and respectful discussions have resulted in significant enhancements for you and the broader APS, and pave the way for future improvements.
Thank you for your engagement in this important reform process. I look forward to seeing your enterprise agreement commence in the near future.
Peter Riordan PSM CF
Chief Negotiator, APS Bargaining
Australian Public Service Commission
23 November 2023