Secure jobs

Job security

COALITION: No policy announced.
ALP: Legislative protection for job security by making secure work an object of Federal legislation and arbitration. Legislative definition of true casual work so workers who want permanent work have a legal pathway to it.

APS staffing caps and levels

COALITION: Staffing caps apply at the portfolio level. No increase to staffing levels. Late news: 5,500 jobs will be cut through an efficiency dividend cut announced on the eve of the election.
ALP: No staffing caps. Increase permanent staffing levels. An additional 500 jobs in DVA, 380 in the NDIA and 200 in Services Australia

Use of labour hire companies

COALITION: Labour hire makes up average of 20% of workers in the APS and has been as high as 50% in some agencies.
ALP: An insecure work audit, converting labour hire, casual and contract roles into ongoing APS jobs, applying the same job - same pay principle. This will allow thousands of casual and labour hire chance the opportunity for a permanent APS job.

Spending on consultants and contractors

COALITION: Continuation of use of consultants and contractors – running at record levels of over $2m per day in new contracts.
ALP: End the reliance on consultants and contractors and invest money saved on permanent APS jobs and capability.

Workplace rights

COALITION: Continuation of stripped back conditions in agreements – including removal of job security protections and rights to consultation.
ALP: Genuine service wide and agency specific negotiations for improved conditions in agreements, including job security, pay and consultation.


APS Bargaining 

Service-wide pay and conditions

COALITION: Rejected outright, despite being one of the key recommendations of the 2019 Thodey Review into the APS.
ALP: 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.
ALP: 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.
ALP: 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.
ALP: Bargaining can include new or improved conditions. Scraps the ‘no-enhancements’ rule.

Pay inequities

COALITION: No commitment
ALP: To be addressed through an agreed mechanism to achieve equal pay for workplaces of equal value across the APS.

Consultation rights

COALITION: Prohibits pre-decision consultation on workplace changes in an Agreement.
ALP: Ensure meaningful, good faith consultation on all matters affecting employees in the workplace.

Delegates’ rights

COALITION: Reduced and restricted. In many cases sitting in guidelines and not protected by being in an Agreement.
ALP: Facilitate the role of union delegates in the workplace. Ensure communications and access of CPSU to its members.


Climate change

Have they committed to net zero by 2050?

ALP: Yes

What is their 2030 target?

COALITION: 26-28% reduction in emissions from 2005 levels.
ALP: 43% reduction in emissions from 2005 levels.

Do they have a plan for APS emissions?

ALP: Yes. The ALP has committed to achieving net zero APS emissions by 2030 (excluding Defence), decreasing emissions by 0.2 Mt a year.

How will they achieve net zero emissions by 2050?

COALITION: Unclear. The Morrison government’s policy models the effect of emissions reductions but doesn’t demonstrate how this will happen. The Morrison Government is largely relying on new technologies that don’t yet exist, with no detailed plan to achieve this change.
ALP: The ALP’s plan details specific policies that will drive down emissions, including connecting renewable energy zones to the national grid to achieve 82% renewable electricity by 2030, improving the Safeguard Mechanism to limit large emitters and a National Reconstruction Fund to support transition, cutting up to 48 Mt a year by 2030.

Will their plan create more jobs?

COALITION: There is no plan for jobs.
ALP: Yes, it’s estimated the ALP’s plan will create 604,000 jobs by 2030, with more than 5 out of 6 jobs located in regional areas.


Watch Melissa Donnelly on Election Policy differences