WA government introduces 2.5% public sector pay rise

By Anna Macdonald

August 2, 2022

Mark McGowan
WA premier Mark McGowan. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

The Western Australian government has announced a public sector pay rise of 3% per year for two years, plus a one-off $2,500 cost-of-living payment.

WA premier Mark McGowan said the announcement showed his government was listening and responding “to the current environment sensibly and reasonably.”

“I want to acknowledge the efforts and work of our entire public sector workforce and that is why the cost-of-living payment will go to every public sector worker not just one particular sector like in some of the other states.

 “There is a range of external issues at play such as the international events and global sanctions with energy and oil which have also heavily contributed to the increasing cost pressures on households in Australia, and we expect this will moderate in due course.”

The pay rises include casual and part-time workers. 

McGowan referenced the one-off $3,000 ‘thank you’ payment to the NSW public health sector, which was criticised by the union for not also covering sectors such as education and prisons. 

In the east of the country, the protests were over public sector wage rises capped at 2.5%, with unions calling for the wage rise to keep pace with rising inflation.

WA industrial relations minister Bill Johnston added the pay increases strike the ‘right balance’.

Community & Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association of WA (CSPU/CSA) secretary Rikki Hendon expressed doubts the changes would keep up with the cost of living.

“It might represent a significant improvement in the first year for this agreement, [but] when we look at the second year, because this $2,500 top-up doesn’t flow on to the second year, we’re concerned that the second year won’t keep up with the cost of living,” Hendon said in a video posted to the union’s Facebook

The policy affects 150,000 public sector workers, with the government estimating it to cost $634 million for a total of $2.54 billion over the next four years.

The government has said those workers covered by already agreed-upon industrial agreements will have the changes immediately take effect. 


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