A single enterprise agreement for the department was approved by the Fair Work Commission and came into effect on 8 April 2016.
Previously, employees in the department had been covered by two separate sets of arrangements inherited from previous department structures, or through machinery of government changes. While the terms and conditions of the two enterprise agreements were largely similar, the differences in pay scales varied between three and 12 per cent for the same classification. This meant the department was managing over 150 salary points for employees.
Bargaining for a single departmental enterprise agreement commenced in August 2014. Eighty-six per cent (1734 out of 2027) of eligible non-SES employees voted on the enterprise agreement, between 16 and 22 March 2016. Fifty-six per cent (968) of employees voted in favour of the new enterprise agreement.
The department’s first enterprise agreement provides for a single set of terms and conditions for all the department’s non-SES employees and achieves pay equity through a single pay scale, and reduces the number of pay points to 37.
The enterprise agreement provides for a remuneration package involving transitional arrangements to align employees to the same salary rates, as well as pay increases totalling 5.5 per cent over three years distributed as follows:
- 2.5 per cent on commencement of the enterprise agreement
- two per cent 12 months after commencement
- one per cent 24 months after commencement.
The transitional arrangements and pay rises together provide the maximum six per cent average remuneration increase permitted under the Australian Public Service Workplace Bargaining Policy.
The enterprise agreement provides an affordable set of employee terms and conditions and provides flexibility to support organisational productivity and performance.