Just 807 Victorian Public Sector employees out of approximately 34,000 voted against the state’s new enterprise bargaining agreement that brings with it a 2.5% per annum pay rise and 0.5% for service delivery improvements.
For the rank and file public servants, an initial pay rise of 1.75% will be backdated to January 1 after the agreement is lodged with the Fair Work Commission.
It stands in contrast with the current state of Australian Public Service bargaining, where the upcoming election threatens to halt the string of successful votes in micro agencies.
Earlier this week the Australian Public Service Commission announced it had reached a milestone with employees having now voted in favour of 50 enterprises at 47 Commonwealth agencies.
However it was reported that the federal opposition will go to the election with a policy of reversing the current restrictions on agency bargaining.
“A Shorten Labor government will remove the Abbott-Turnbull government requirement that forces agencies to strip rights and we will provide a fair-pay outcome that will ensure workers do not go backwards in real terms,” shadow employment minister Brendan O’Connor told Fairfax.
Victoria’s EBA agreement may be an indication of what federal Labor plans.
The 95% endorsement of the Victorian Public Sector enterprise agreement came after it was strongly endorsed by CPSU Victoria.
The EBA contains support for those experiencing family violence, gender neutral parental leave, and recognises the cultural obligations of employees of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.
Industrial Relations Minister Natalie Hutchins said the state had a responsibility to set an example:
“As the state’s largest employer, we’re setting an example for all Victorians by recognising the hard work of those at the frontline of Victoria’s service delivery.”
“We entered into negotiations with our staff in an atmosphere of good faith and cooperation and have secured an outcome that is good for workers, and good for Victoria.”
Negotiations continue for other Victorian public sector workers, such as nurses and midwives, who meet today to discuss progress on their EBA.