Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members have today voted to endorse the proposed APS wide pay and conditions package.

After rejecting the government’s revised offer of 11.2% over three years, sharp industrial escalation from the union pushed the government to come back to the table offering an additional payment to employees that is the equivalent of 0.92% of an employee’s salary.

More than 16,000 CPSU members have voted in the union’s membership poll on the APS wide package, with 67.5% supporting it.

Service-wide bargaining, which the CPSU fought to secure for almost two decades, has delivered significant progress on workers’ pay and conditions in one fell swoop, including:

  • Genuinely negotiated pay outcomes, instead of service wide caps on pay and the previous government’s ban on conditions improvements restrictions.
  • A mechanism that moves Agency pay rates towards pay equity and a significant rise in salaries for those at the bottom.
  • Strong and consistent flexible work and working from home rights that apply right across the APS.
  • Job security protections, including 25% casual loading and measures to ensure ongoing employment is the usual form of employment.
  • Conditions protected, with more generous entitlements maintained where they already exceed newly negotiated common conditions, and a “green light” from the APSC for agencies to return conditions from policy to the enterprise agreement.
  • Strong, clear, and enforceable consultation rights, and for the first time, an APS consultative committee so that CPSU members have a say on the big issues affecting the APS.
  • Significant improvements to paid parental leave, including 18 weeks’ paid leave for the primary carer, and over the life of the agreement, transitioning to 18 weeks’ paid leave for the secondary carer.
  • Clear representation rights, delegates’ rights, Respect@Work protections, and a dispute procedure that will help ensure enterprise agreements are followed in practice, with the help of the Fair Work Commission where necessary.
  • Support for First Nations employees, including ceremonial leave, NAIDOC leave, and a definition of family that includes kinship.
  • Uncapped, paid Family and Domestic Violence leave, 3 days’ paid cultural leave, emergency services leave, and disaster support.
  • Measures to support integrity in the APS, to ensure Robodebt never happens again.
  • Workload reviews, and EL TOIL established across the APS for the first time.

These common terms will now be included in all APS agency Enterprise Agreements along with any agency specific matters negotiated before being put to staff ballots at the agency level.

Quotes attributable to Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary:

“The endorsed APS wide package is one that CPSU members can and should be proud of.

“In just one round of service-wide bargaining we have secured industry leading conditions, an 11.2% pay rise with back pay, a considerable lump sum payment at sign on, no cuts to existing conditions, and no delays.

“Our members entered this process prepared to fight for improvements to their pay and conditions, and that is what they have done.

“While there have been mixed views on pay throughout the process, we have shifted government’s position twice without delaying bargaining outcomes or sacrificing conditions.

“I’d like to acknowledge those CPSU members who took industrial action throughout the course of this bargain. From overtime and work bans, through to 1 hour, 2 hour and full day strikes - every action played its part in creating an APS wide package that can now go on to improve the working lives of APS employees.

“Service wide bargaining presented CPSU members with a historic opportunity to work together across the APS to secure new conditions, achieve greater commonality and work towards equity of pay conditions across the APS.

“This has delivered improvements to a wide range of members’ pay and conditions that would never have been achieved had we still been bargaining agency-by-agency.

“Of particular note, is the progress that has been made on pay equity. A fragmented and divided APS has seen pay equity blow out, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and those working in our cultural institutions suffering the most.

“CPSU members fought not only for their own pay rises, but for those of their colleagues in lower paid agencies. As a result, this package will see some of the lowest paid APS employees receiving up to 25% pay rises over the next 3 years.

“There is still much more to be done as we continue rebuilding the APS, but this package will form a vital part of the foundation of that work as we move forward.

Media contact: Tori McGregor 0429 000 620