End in sight in APS wage tussle as union endorses latest offer

Commonwealth public servants have until Thursday to vote on a revised pay deal including a one-off additional payment, which has been endorsed by their union.

APS bargaining negotiator Peter Riordan

The Commonwealth made what it says is its final pay offer last week, with an undertaking to bring forward a pay rise scheduled for next year by three months.

The offer now stands at 4.0 per cent from March 2024; 3,8 per cent from March 2025, and 3.4 per cent from March 2026, plus a one-off payment representing additional earnings from December 21 until salary rates are formally increased on March 14.

Under the 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.

The CPSU has claimed credit for the renewed offer and recommended it to members.

“This is a package that will deliver APS employees strong, industry-leading conditions, improved pay and a financial boost without delay,” the union says.

“The union recommends the overall package, noting it will deliver strong conditions and improved pay without delays.”

The CPSU in October rejected the government’s previous offer, after 52 per cent of members gave it the thumbs down.

Year 1 increase brought forward

The government says employees will benefit from the deal if their agency finalises its enterprise agreement by March 14, and if it’s supported by a majority of employees.

This means employees will receive the payment as a lump sum as soon as possible after a successful enterprise agreement ballot, without having to wait for Fair Work Commission approval of the EA, the CPSU said.

“You could get a one-off payment shortly after the successful yes vote on your agency’s enterprise agreement,” APS bargaining chief negotiator Peter Riordan says in an open letter to employees.

“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.”

The CPSU says the additional one-off payment is the equivalent of 0.92 per cent of an employee’s salary.

In Services Australia this amounts to $724 for an APS4, $933 for an APS6, and $1119 for an EL1, It says.

“The union will now run a member poll where every CPSU member in the APS will have the opportunity to vote on the revised APS wide package,” the union says.

The poll closes at midday November 30.

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