Public sector - economically sustainable wages
Date:Tuesday, September 7, 2010
2624. Hon Alison Xamon to the Leader of the House representing the Minister for Commerce
I refer the Budget Papers page 870, Significant issues impacting the Agency, second dot point regarding economically sustainable public sector wage outcomes, and ask —
(1) How is the Government planning to achieve this outcome?
(2) How much money is allocated for coordinating the public sector negotiations?
Hon NORMAN MOORE replied:
The Department of Commerce advises:
(1) Bargaining under the Public Sector Wages Policy has been ongoing since mid-2009. A number of agreements have been finalised within Wages Policy parameters, including agreements providing for increases consistent with projected growth in the Perth Consumer Price Index (CPI) and agreements providing for higher increases up to projected growth in the Wage Price Index.
Through linking bargaining parameters to key economic forecasts for inflation and wages growth the Government has been able to offer employees increases that maintain the real value of their wages, and in some cases provide for real wage increases where efficiency initiatives are negotiated. This will assist in moderating wages growth across the public sector, which had accelerated to unsustainable levels in recent years.
Importantly, agreements providing for above-CPI increases have included cost saving or efficiencyenhancing provisions, such as more efficient rostering provisions, multi-tasking of duties, or better utilisation of existing resources. This has helped to deliver fair and sustainable wage outcomes.
(2) Resourcing the coordination of public sector negotiations is undertaken within existing departmental budget allocations for the Labour Relations Divisions of the Department of Commerce. The Labour Relations Division has prioritised existing resources to enable it to oversee bargaining pursuant to Wages Policy. It is not possible to nominate a specific allocation for the coordination of public sector bargaining alone.