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Pay Equity Win for PSA




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The PSA has won a 26% pay increase for Senior Library Technicians and 25% increases for Senior Librarians and Senior Archivists in the pay equity case handed down on 28 March. The case covered Librarians, Archivists and Library Technicians in the NSW Public Service (departments and administrative units) and the TAFE Commission.

This result is a tribute to 5 years of hard work by the delegates committee headed by Kate Burnham of the Attorney General's Library. We commend them for their tireless efforts.

Library Technician increases are likely to range from about 1% for 5 ALT Grade 2 (unqualified) through to 26% for Senior Library Technician Year 4. Archivists and Librarian increases range from 4% for Base Grade Year 1 (now called Grade 1 Year 1) up to 25.6% for Senior Grade 1 Year 2 (now Grade 3 Year 2).

The rates will take effect from the first pay period after the decision (28 March 2002). An interim award of three months has been made with the final award coming into effect after the next hearing before the Full Bench on 29 July. In the next three months the PSA and the employers (PSMO and DET) must confer on how to implement the award.

The Commission decided that:
 There should be a single award for librarians, library technicians and archivists in NSW Public Service and TAFE, while an interim award would provide the immediate pay increases.
 Classification descriptors should be used to ‘eliminate any doubt - and avoid any future controversy - as to the contribution that job evaluation systems may have made to either entrenching the undervaluation of the work’.
 The parties should enter into discussions about the appropriate descriptors and the final form of the new award.

The decision also does away with ‘youth wages‘, by abolishing age-related rates for entry level librarians, meaning that a small number of employees will receive immediate salary increases of up to 92%.

The PSA delegates & staff will pore over the 100 page decision from today because there are a number of matters left over for further negotiation.

In 2000 the NSW Industrial Relations Commission established a principle to act as a mechanism for women to achieve equal pay, requiring unions to bring applications on a case-by-case basis. Today’s decision paves the way for similar cases for other female dominated occupations in the public sector, and eventually the private sector, such as childcare and nursing.

For more articles on women see our Women's Page

Progressive PSA brings together rank and file trade union activists in the Public Service Association of New South Wales and the CPSU (SPSF Branch). 

We work for 

  • improved and more equitable pay 
  • greater job security
  • a democratic and strong union