The June quarter 2021 Private Sector Wage Price Index was published yesterday (by hard working ABS members!) and it’s 1.9% through the year.

While the Index usually isn’t something the CPSU reports on to members, last year the government changed the APS Bargaining Policy and tied our potential wage increases to this private sector WPI each year.

This means two things

  • Bargaining under this policy next year could see us voting on “wage rises” with no number attached, because we’d be waiting on publication of the private sector WPI each year.
  • The Private Sector WPI has historically been significantly lower than APS pay increases. Do you know why? Because the private sector is less unionised and APS union members have fought relentlessly for better pay and conditions.

What does this mean for us at the ABS? 

  • Our agreement expires next year! This means our wages could be capped at this rate.
  • If we were negotiating now, we’d have a maximum wage increase of 1.9%. Is that enough for you?
  • These ‘mystery pay’ caps apply whether we negotiate a new enterprise agreement or the ABS decides to make a s24(1) determination.

Bad for the federal public sector, bad for all workers 

  • Pay is not negotiated. Under this Bargaining Policy pay cannot be genuinely negotiated by unions, workers and agencies, instead, it is dictated by government.
  • This is a decision by government to suppress wages for all Australian workers. The Reserve Bank has recognised this Government's wages policy will hold back economic recovery across the board. This is bad for workers in the APS, and bad for workers everywhere.
  • Wages are at an historic low while financial stress during COVID-19 due to restrictions and lockdowns seem to have increased for many workers. The WPI has been at historic lows for some time and has dropped to even lower levels since the pandemic recession.

What can you do? 

  • Education is critical - talk with your colleagues and provide them a copy of our detailed fact sheet 
  • Ask your colleagues to join – the stronger we are, the better position we’ll be in for bargaining next year.

As always your section council would love to have a chat or provide more information. They are: 

  • Rowena Zackeresen (QLD)
  • Donna Chapman (SA)
  • Denis Mann (VIC)
  • Donna Reid (WA)
  • Josiah Miller (Geelong)
  • Minnie Tang (NSW)
  • David Anderson (ACT)
  • Mark Swift (TAS)