Research Papers

Driving A Soft Bargain

Written by and
15 December 2015

All current Australian Public Service Enterprise Agreements have a nominal expiry date of 30 June 2014, and are currently in the bargaining stage for the next suite of agreements. This report examines the APS Agreements of the Top 10 Commonwealth government Agencies or Departments by employee size.

The APS Agreements provide that general salary levels for APS-level employees will incrementally increase by a total of 9 per cent over the life of the agreement (April 2012 – June 2014). There is a presumption of a further salary increase for APS employees each year by advancing through the APS classification steps. Additional lump-sum payments in six APS agreements have the effect of boosting salaries by an average of $2,420 for those employees.

Public sector wages are higher than those in the private sector, on average. There is a risk that above-productivity wage increases may flow through to the private sector, which does not have the same capacity to absorb costs through increased taxation.

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