Tasmanian public sector wage agreement reached...for now

By Shannon Jenkins

July 25, 2019

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The Tasmanian government and public sector unions have reached an ‘in principle’ one-year agreement on a public sector pay rise, after months of failed negotiations.

The revised deal includes a 2.1% per annum increase backdated to the last agreement, with an extra 0.25% every year. Employees will also be eligible for a sign-on bonus of up to $120.

According to a statement from Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman and Treasurer Peter Gutwein, “the offer includes a commitment to continue negotiating on the final two years of the deal immediately”.

If an agreement is not made by 30 November 2019, the Tasmanian Industrial Commission will take over.

Hodgman and Gutwein thanked unions for their negotiation efforts.

“Today’s breakthrough would not have been possible without the good faith shown by the Australian Nurses and Midwifery Federation. The ANMF’s example has been a catalyst for other Tasmanian public sector unions to come back to the table to negotiate for the benefit of their members,” they said.

“We thank Tom Lynch and the leaders of the other public sector unions for coming back to the negotiating table, and we encourage them to put the new agreement to their members for a vote as soon as possible.”

READ MORE: Tasmanian premier’s new pay offer come with a major public service review attached

Thursday’s announcement only mentioned wages. As per the last agreement’s conditions, the state’s public servants would receive less public holidays, which Hodgman argued would align the public sector work calendar more closely with other jurisdictions and the private sector.

A “workforce renewal incentive program” would also encourage up to 150 people to step down and be replaced with lower-paid staff, while “outdated” payments that provide a penalty rate to those who are paid late would be removed.

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