The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) welcomes the Federal Government’s commitment to rebuilding the Australian Public Service (APS) and a better approach to APS bargaining and industrial relations.

The CPSU looks forward to working with the Labor Government to deliver a new era for the public sector and public sector workers.

The centralised approach to bargaining, job security, and consultation with workers will go a long way to address the damage done by the former government’s bargaining policy and program of widespread outsourcing and contracting.

The Government’s commitment to re-establish the Commonwealth Government as a model employer is significant and represents a significant step forward for CPSU members and APS workers.

CPSU members have worked hard to continue delivering the services the Australian public deserves, while raising awareness and concern about the impact of underfunding and understaffing.

CPSU members campaigned hard against the former government’s budget cuts, understaffing and use of expensive private contractors to perform government work - all while facing pay freezes, real wage cuts, and cuts to their working conditions.

Today’s announcement includes interim arrangements which provide wage increases of 3% to all employees due a pay rise between 1 September and 31 August next year.

While the CPSU acknowledges that 3% is an improvement on the previous government’s public service wages policy, we expect to be able to achieve more through bargaining.

3% is well below inflation and does not address cost of living pressures. The CPSU hopes to commence service wide bargaining as soon as possible to achieve wage growth and conditions improvements for APS workers.

The CPSU welcomes the government’s commitments on consultation, job security and engagement with union representatives. Engaging genuinely and respectfully with workers and their union representatives is critical to the work of rebuilding the APS and the services they deliver.

Quotes attributable to CPSU National Secretary Melissa Donnelly:

“The CPSU welcomes the Albanese Government’s announcements on a new approach to APS bargaining and industrial relations. We look forward to working with the Government to rebuild public sector capacity and improvements for APS workers.

“For too long, the capability of the APS has been stymied by fragmented pay and conditions and APS workers have been locked out of genuine bargaining.

“The previous government’s pay caps and restrictions on enhancements to working conditions left agencies and their employees little to no room to genuinely negotiate.

“CPSU members are committed to the important work they do for the Australian public.

“For years, public sector workers have been raising the alarm over the impact of the previous Government’s outsourcing and budget cuts.

“The CPSU looks forward to service-wide, centralised bargaining to achieve real gains for employees right across the APS and rebuild public services.”

Media contact: Liz Bower 0408 405 121