DHS revised staff pay offer tabled

The Department of Human Services has today tabled its revised staff pay offer during enterprise bargaining discussions.

“The offer would include a salary increase of 4.15 per cent over the three-year life of the new agreement, with increases of 1.5 per cent in 2015, 1.5 per cent in 2016 and an additional 1.15 per cent in 2017,” said General Manager Hank Jongen.

“This offer is conditional on the department meeting the staffing ratio of executive level to APS staff of 1:9 in each year over the life of the agreement, and we are currently meeting this ratio.

“On top of the salary increases, staff eligible for performance-based salary advancement would get up to 0.5 per cent extra in each year.”

Mr Jongen said if the department does not meet its workforce profile ratio target each year, this will affect annual pay increases, mostly in the later years of the agreement.

“If we do not meet our workforce profile target ratio in either 2016 or 2017, staff would be entitled to a total general pay increase of 3.25 per cent over three years,” Mr Jongen said.

“While the 2015 general pay rise of 1.5 per cent would remain unchanged, staff would be eligible for a pay rise of 1.00 per cent in 2016 instead of 1.5 percent, and 0.75 per cent in 2017 instead of 1.15 per cent.

“Staff who are eligible will also receive a performance-based salary advancement of up to 0.5 per cent each year for three years – up to 1.5 per cent over three years – regardless of whether the department meets its workforce profile target ratio.

“We consider this a genuine offer that meets the requirements of the Government’s bargaining policy, and we are committed to talking with staff in the coming weeks about the offer to gauge their feedback and views.”

Mr Jongen said the department has been busy over the past few months in actively considering staff and representative feedback to the revised draft agreement, which was tabled in November last year.

“We have been talking with bargaining representatives – including the CPSU – about their suggested changes and questions, as well as working through the feedback our staff have provided through a number of channels,” Mr Jongen said.

“We’ve also hosted information sessions for staff to seek their feedback on the draft Human Resources policies that support the operation of the working draft agreement.

“Where these comments and suggestions have met the requirements of the Government’s bargaining policy, we’ve considered including them into the revised draft agreement.

“However, to help fund the current pay offer we’ve maintained our position on other clauses, such as:

  • extending working hours by an extra six minutes per day to bring more into line with National Employment Standards;
  • increasing the working hours bandwidth by one hour from 7am to 8pm to better reflect the actual hours of our service delivery;
  • changing overtime rules for part-time staff to ensure agreed part-time hours are respected; and
  • reducing personal/carer’s leave accruals from 18 days per year to 15 days to help address our unplanned leave levels, which are among the highest in the public service.”

Mr Jongen said bargaining discussions and staff consultation will continue to ensure staff have access to all the relevant information about the revised draft agreement and proposed pay offer.

“The department has consistently been providing staff with comprehensive updates on bargaining developments and is committed to continuing this dialogue.”