‘Near impossible’ for agencies to prove productivity, win pay gains

Agencies are struggling to prove their productivity gains and win staff pay rises, according to one employment lawyer. Arbitrary cuts don’t get it done.

John Wilson

John Wilson

It is “nigh on impossible in practical terms” for any public service agency to win pay increases when tied to productivity improvements, one Canberra employment lawyer warns.

As Defence Force personnel fume over their below-CPI agreement, and staff from the departments of Human Services and Veterans’ Affairs vote on whether to walk off the job over stalled negotiations, the federal government is maintaining a hard-line approach to public sector pay, with agencies forced to mount a case for increases based on the productivity of their workforces.

That’s a challenge for government agencies in a “non-widget producing environment”, according to Bradley Allen Love managing legal director and industrial relations specialist John Wilson. Especially when departments already operate under ongoing efficiency dividend obligations.

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