Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members have overwhelmingly rejected the 10.5% pay offer tabled by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC).

A huge 86% of the 15,000 CPSU members who voted in the ballot, voted against the offer.

Many APS employees accompanied their no vote with an explanation:

“My HECS/HELP debt got indexed at a higher rate than [this].”

“No where near close to cost-of-living increases and inflation, but even more importantly - fails to bridge the gap around past bargaining agreements and the extensive delays and pain we experienced back then. Just not good enough!”

“It is not enough and doesn't take into consideration all the past agreements where we have been underpaid and delayed.”

“This is poor, my rates increase was the same and that's already spent, no incentive for me to stay after 15 years in the Public Service.”

“Years of subpar wage growth drive the need for a larger increase, as does inflation. Further, without a suitable pay rise for the APS, the gap between the public sector and private sector will continue to grow, pushing more incredible people into the private sector.”

“We want APS to attract and keep good people, we are at the lowest end of the wage scale and we are losing good employees because we are so much lower than industry rates.”

The union is working on its next steps, one of which has been to lodge an application with the Fair Work Commission for a protected action ballot in Services Australia.

The application, if approved, will give CPSU members in Services Australia the opportunity to vote on taking protected industrial action.

The CPSU bargaining team will bring the outcome of their ballot to a scheduled meeting with the APSC on Thursday 1st June, where they’ll look to begin negotiating a better outcome on pay.

Quotes attributable to Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary:

“Given the decade long attack on APS employees’ wages and conditions and the skyrocketing cost of living, it is abundantly clear that APS employees are looking for something better.

“From the outset, CPSU members have been clear that they want a fair deal and they want it delivered on time.

“They want to see the government bring a pay rise to the table that acknowledges what they have endured over the past decade, one that takes steps to address the attraction and retention crisis, and one that will go some way in easing current financial pressures.

“Our members have clearly communicated that a 10.5% pay offer achieves none of those goals.

“Earlier this week, our union lodged an application for a protected action ballot in Services Australia with the Fair Work Commission. This decision has not been taken lightly.

“This is a strategic decision that puts our members in a position where they can increase pressure on the APSC and the Federal Government to deliver better outcomes in bargaining if necessary.

Media contact: Tori McGregor 0429 000 620