Pay rise confirmed after wage cap backflip

01-Jul-2021

 

ASMOF NSW State Council has voted to accept a revised pay offer of 2.5%, comprising a 2.04% increase to salaries and salary-related allowances and a 0.5% increase to the superannuation rate (more on why super is included below). The NSW Government has made this offer to all public sector workers, and the increase is a welcome change following a year of campaigning and advocacy in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission by ASMOF and other public sector unions.

The increased pay offer is a shift from the original position taken by NSW Health in May 2021, when they wrote to ASMOF with an offer of a 1.04% for members for 2021-22. The offer was deeply disappointing given the appalling 0.3% pay increase last year. It wilfully ignored our members' hard work during one of the most difficult, dangerous, and complex times of this decade.

Whilst ASMOF supports the revised pay offer, we remain disappointed with the continuance of the unfair NSW Government Wages Policy.

 

The government’s policy effectively denies us the basic right to collectively bargain over wages and conditions or to have members’ wages and conditions determined by an impartial and independent arbiter. Instead it enables the Government to unilaterally determine the wages and conditions of its employees.

This has adverse financial impacts directly on members and is arguably a core contributor to the inability of NSW Health to recruit and retain medical specialists who are looking interstate for more beneficial and less restrictive entitlements. Consequently, the lack of competition is causing increases in understaffing and onerous hours for medical practitioners across NSW.

That is why we will continue to campaign to have the NSW wages cap removed.


Why does your pay rise include super?


From 1 July the minimum Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contribution rate will increase from 9.5% to 10 %, with further increases of 0.5% each financial year until it reaches 12% from 1 July 2025. These increases were originally legislated by the Federal Government in 2012.

In 2013, the NSW Government decided to absorb each of the superannuation increases into the 2.5% wages cap – effectively decreasing the salary increase on offer. This decision was challenged by public sector unions including ASMOF and initially, the Full Bench of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission ruled in favour of the Unions. The NSW Government successfully appealed that decision to the Supreme Court of New South Wales. The NSW Government then passed legislation entrenching the decision that wage increases are discounted by the quantum of the SGE increase. At the time the public sector unions sought legal advice on a challenge to the High Court, but that advice was that an appeal to the high court would not be successful.