From the second half of 2022, we will have the opportunity to bargain for a new Enterprise Agreement in the ATO
We need to start preparing. We need to think about what we want to achieve.
Of course we want decent pay rises after so many years of real wage cuts. We know that workers across the ATO want to see some key enhancements, such as:
- getting work from home into the EA as a presumptive right
- flexible working rights
- secure work
The only way to get them is to bargain for enhancements.
We should all be able to genuinely negotiate for better conditions and real pay increases, but the current government Bargaining Policy doesn’t allow for genuine negotiation on pay and conditions and prohibits negotiations for any enhancements to conditions.
What’s the solution?
The government policy needs to change. The CPSU has been advocating to the government and Labor for policy proposals that will address these issues. The ALP has committed to a range of policies that support genuine, service-wide bargaining, enhance career paths, address pay inequities, and support APS diversity and CPSU representation in bargaining.
Labor will completely rewrite workplace bargaining policies so people working in the APS can bargain for real wage increases, improvements to conditions improvements and back pay.
So we have two opportunities to achieve a better bargaining policy – either the government changes at the upcoming election, or we keep campaigning to change the current bargaining policy.
Compare and contrast – which would you prefer to bargain under?
Service-wide pay and conditions
Coalition: Rejected outright, despite being one of the key recommendations of the 2019 Thodey Review into the APS.
Labor: Commonwealth as a single employer where core service-wide terms and conditions are negotiated in good faith at a service-wide level and remaining conditions negotiated at an agency or portfolio level.
Coalition: No genuine negotiation on pay.
Public Sector wages tied to private sector Wage Price Index (WPI), meaning mystery pay offers in years 2 and 3 of an agreement.
Labor: Will ensure fair and genuine bargaining with CPSU representatives and members.
WPI link will be removed. Real wage increases linked to productivity can be ‘bargained for.’
Back pay and date of effect of pay rises
Coalition: Prohibits backdating pay rises in bargaining. Where an agreement is finalised after the end date of the previous agreement workers miss out on back dated pay rises.
Labor: Will scrap the no back dating rule and allow for negotiations on back dating pay rises.
Improved working conditions
Coalition: The Coalition’s ‘no-enhancements’ rule prohibits bargaining for new or improved conditions.
Labor: Bargaining can include new or improved conditions.
Scraps the ‘no-enhancements’ rule.
Coalition: No commitment
Labor: To be addressed through an agreed mechanism to achieve equal pay for workplaces of equal value across the APS.
Coalition: Prohibits pre-decision consultation on workplace changes in an agreement.
Labor: Ensure meaningful, good faith consultation on all matters affecting employees in the workplace.
Coalition: Reduced and restricted. In many cases sitting in guidelines and not protected by being in an agreement.
Labor: Facilitate the role of union delegates in the workplace. Ensure communications and access of CPSU to its members.
Wage growth and job security are critical to addressing cost of living pressures.