It’s clear the government is feeling the pressure as it continues its longstanding policy approach of supressing wages and stopping genuine negotiation on rights and conditions.

This week, Public Services Minister Ben Morton said that APS workers should congratulate him for ending a wage freeze imposed by his government.

Minister Morton said if APS employees didn’t like the new bargaining policy of mystery pay deals and no improvements to conditions, then he would reluctantly consider reverting to the previous pay cap. His interview with the Canberra Times is here but behind a pay wall.

CPSU National Secretary Melissa Donnelly responded in her own interview with the Canberra Times, saying, "The proposition that APS employees need to choose between two bad wage policies from this government is I think ridiculous and relatively disrespectful."

"What APS employees want to be able to do is genuinely negotiate on wages and conditions that have the capacity to deliver real wage increases," said Ms Donnelly.

We know that what APS employees deserve to be able to genuinely negotiate on wages and conditions that have the capacity to deliver real wage increases and improvements to conditions.

The reality, which the Minister didn't mention in his media tour this week, is that some agencies are actually proposing a double pay cap. These agencies are seeking to limit wage outcomes to the wage price index or 2 per cent, whatever is lower.

What we currently have from this government is a bargaining policy that freezes enterprise agreements in time, prevents the APS from innovating on conditions and fails to offer guaranteed real wage increases.

Take action and win

We need to get to continue our work right now to unite to be ready for what promises to be another tough round of bargaining in Services Australia. A key part of this work is making sure all Services Australia workers understand what the bargaining policy means for them.

If you haven’t already, please do the CPSU bargaining quiz and spread the word amongst your colleagues before it closes at 5pm EDT, 17 November 2021. Prizes will be drawn on 12 noon EDST 18 November 2021 and winners will be notified by SMS and email. Prizes are:

  • Two $150 gift cards (Coles or Woolworths) for the member prize draw.
  • Two $50 gift cards (Coles or Woolworths) for the non-member prize draw.
  • One $150 gift card (Coles or Woolworths) for the member named with the most referrals.