Insights

Commonwealth 10.5% pay offer: An update on APS-wide enterprise bargaining

Workplace Relations & Safety
Woman standing in front of a whiteboard speaking to a colleague.

On 16 May 2023 Peter Riordan PSM CF, the Chief Negotiator for Australian Public Service-wide bargaining, tabled the Commonwealth's pay offer for Australian Public Service (APS) employees.

The Commonwealth's pay offer, which provides for a total increase of 10.5% over three years, reportedly represents the largest pay increase that will have been received by APS employees in over ten years. It is tailored to forecasts of inflation and wages growth.

Pay offer breakdown

The pay offer of 10.5% is broken down over three years whereby there will be increases of:

  • 4% in the first year
  • 3.5% in the second year
  • 3% in the third year.

In contrast, the claim by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) is for a general pay increase of 20% over three years. The breakdown pursued is 9% in the first year, 6% in the second and 5% in the third. The CPSU also seeks for the pay offer to match the Consumer Price Index (CPI), such that the pay increase includes a guaranteed additional payment for any year the CPI is higher.

Pay offer considerations

In determining the pay offer, the Commonwealth considered:

  • recent wage outcomes across Australia
  • numerous economic indicators
  • the current labour market; and
  • budgetary considerations.

Next steps

The CPSU is yet to respond to the Commonwealth's offer. Voting for CPSU members on the pay offer will close on 30 May 2023.

The Commonwealth may also provide additional pay rises for APS employees in agencies with the lowest pay scales.

It will be interesting to see whether this offer influences pay negotiations for other public sector employees across Australia.

The Workplace Relations & Safety team at Lander & Rogers will continue to closely monitor for changes in the APS-wide bargaining process. We will provide further updates on these changes in the lead-up to APS enterprise agreements coming into effect.

Image sourced via Unsplash.

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Michelle Zhu

Michelle Zhu

Lawyer