Progressive PSA Let's make our union strong again! The Progressive PSA brings together rank and file trade union activists in the Public
Service Association of NSW and the CPSU (SPSF Branch). We work for:
  • greater job security
  • improved and more equitable pay
  • sustainable jobs in a sustainable environment
  • a democratic and strong union
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    Strategy of the PSA officials Leaves Members Vulnerable
    Since being roundly criticised in previous pay deals for secretly trading off conditions the current PSA executive is desperate to avoid similar criticism this time around. However the O'Farrell government has used the current pay claim to attack members' conditions.
    Read the Progressive PSA report, 22 June 2012, "Strategy of the PSA Officials Leaves Members Vulnerable"

    Read the Decision of the Commission, "Crown Employees (Public Sector - Salaries 2008) Award [2012]"

    2.5%, Crown Employees get less than average earnings, even less than CPI
    The PSA 'interim' claim of 2.5% was awarded by the Industrial Commission on 29 June. It will be paid to PSA covered Crown Employees in the first full pay period in July. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports Average Weekly Earnings to be between 3.9% in the public sector and 4.5% in the private sector over the year to February 2012. NSW Crown Employees (the majority of PSA members) have been awarded 2.5%, an effective pay cut.
    UPDATE: Read the Decision of the Commission, "Crown Employees (Public Sector - Salaries 2008) Award [2012]"

    Read the ABS report, "Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, Feb 2012"

    UPDATE: Victorian Public Service. About 36,000 workers covered by the Public Service Agreement to be registered under Fair Work Australia will win 2.77 per cent average increases over four years, plus a one-off $1500 bonus. Thus breaking their government imposed wages cap of 2.5%.

    Read the Herald Sun report, 3 July 2012. "Vic public servants win pay increase"

    Wage Watch: High Court challenge
    “The High Court has granted the NSW Public Service Association leave to challenge the NSW Government's industrial laws capping public sector salary rises to 2.5%.”
    Read the Sydeny Morning Herald report, 11 May 2012 "High Court allows challenge to public servants' salary cap"

    Read the Nine News report, 11 May 2012 "Wage laws will beat any challenge: NSW govt"

    The current PSA leadership appears to be acting alone in relying on a High Court challenge to gain more than 2.5% for members. Even if the challenge is successful there is at this late stage no campaign evident which can win more than the 2.5% cap.

    Judicial pay rise: "Judges threaten to wage war"
    If there's a sound reason for the PSA leadership to only claim 2.5% then it is isn't apparent and it certainly isn't based on any consultation with members. Meanwhile, Police and the judiciary are exempt from the 2.5% pay cap imposed on the rest of the public sector.
    "The one-off 3 per cent windfall came on top of the judiciary's normal 3 per cent annual wage rise because judges are not subject to the state's new 2.5 per cent public sector wages cap.”

    Read the Daily Telegraph report, 24 April 2012 "Judges threaten to wage war"
    Also read the Daily Telegraph report, 24 April 2012, here

    WA public servants win minimum of 4.05%
    August 08 - Most West Australian public sector employees will receive 3 Annual increases of 4.92% (those earning between $45,000 and $78,000) as part of a new deal with the WA Government. The minimum anyone will get is 4.05% a year. Employees will also receive enhanced entitlements including 12 months unpaid grandparental leave. The first instalment will be backdated to March this year when the old agreement expired.

    Private sector pay booming, public sector pay dips, PSA pay stalled
    August 08 - Private sector pay is growing at a record 4.3% rate but public sector rates have hit a three-year low. The Labour Price Index shows growth in public sector pay has slowed to 3.8% a year. This is the lowest rate of trend growth since the June quarter of 2005. Average public sector rates have consistently run ahead of the PSA's 4% increases. Now that our pay deal has expired we are now on 0% with no guarantee of backpay. The current PSA officials started our pay claim so late that the Industrial Relations Commission wont be able to make a determination until late this year. Unless we force the employer to make a better offer we must wait. The current PSA officials seem content to wait for the court case. They have no plans for any industrial campaign. And why would they be in a hurry? They received their increase (linked to Federal Court Judges) in October last year and will get another this October.

    Wage growth runs ahead of PSA deal
    Average wages grew by 4.8% in the year to March 08. Most PSA members received just 4% in the final round of the pay deal that expired at the end of June 08. At the time when the deal was struck the Progressives argued it was foolish to lock members into a long pay deal because of the risk of inflation.

    Average Wage increases still higher than PSA agreement
    November 05 - In the public sector, full-time adult ordinary time earnings rose 5% over the year to August 05, to reach $1,118.20 a week. Results were even stronger in the private sector resulting in a combined private and public sector figure increase of 6.3% ($1,022). This figure differs from the bureau's other wage measure, the 4.5% rise in the labour price index, because it is more influenced by one-off bonus payments and changes in the composition of the workforce. The previous PSA Executive recommended that PSA members accept a 4% per year pay rise. Gender gap not closing - While average male earnings rose 6.5% to $1081.80 a week, female earnings only grew 5.7% to $912.20 a week ie 84% of male earnings. These figures only deal with full-time workers, the situation is worse if the effect of women's over-representation in lower-paid part-time positions is considered. See also our Women's page for similar stories.

    PS Average 4.4%
    June 05 - The average annual wage increase (AAWI) for the March 05 quarter for all current agreements was 4%. The average annual increase for agreements struck last quarter was 4.4% in the public sector. In 2004 the former PSA Executive recommended that members accept just 4% per year.

    National Wage Case
    7 June 05 - The Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) awarded the lowest paid workers an increase of $17 a week in what may be its last wage case before the Coalition's new Fair Pay Commission takes over. The ruling brings the minimum wage to $484.40.

    In response to criticism by the Commonwealth Government the AIRC commented on its "willingness to conduct a broader inquiry into needs should there be significant support for such a course”. It commented on the absence of data from the Commonwealth to back its criticism. “This lack of data was forcefully brought home again in this case. We requested the Commonwealth to provide data concerning the proportion of the workforce to which the safety net adjustments applied in 1997 and in 2004."

    "The Commonwealth was unable to do so. We also asked the Commonwealth to provide data concerning the proportion of the workforce to which the minimum wage adjustment applied in 1997 and 2004. Again, the Commonwealth was unable to supply the information.

    "It is a matter of significance that while the Commonwealth has criticised the Commission's past decisions because of their employment effects, the most basic of information about safety net adjustments and the minimum wage - how many people are affected by them - is apparently not available to the Commonwealth."

    Police get better deal
    March 05 - The average annual wage increase (AAWI) for the December 04 quarter was 4.4%, up 0.1% from the Sept quarter. The former PSA Executive recommended that members accept just 4% per year. The difference is more marked when compared with other public sector outcomes. Several strong outcomes pushed public sector wages up 5.2% over the same period. Since then, NSW Police have secured a better deal than the PSA. It consists of 4% per annum over 4 years with increases from July 06 being made in increments of 2% every 6 months (resulting in better compounding than the PSA deal). More importantly it contains improved Death and Disability Benefits for post April 1988 police officers. These are the equivalent of a 3.6% per annum increase in pay. Police will receive all the other non-salary benefits contained in the PSA deal. For more details check the Police Association website.

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