Stage one of Government attack on 2.5% fails - Public Service Association

Stage one of Government attack on 2.5% fails

Stage one of the O’Farrell Government’s twin pronged attack on the decision of the Industrial Relations Commission to grant the full 2.5% wage rise has failed.

The Government’s application for a stay (or suspension) of Justice Boland’s decision was heard by the Full Bench of the Industrial Relations Commission on 30 January 2014.

The move was rebuffed by the Commission until the second element of the Government’s strategy – a judicial review of the decision – is determined in the Court of Appeal.

On 17 December 2013, Justice Boland, President of the Industrial Relations Commission, ruled in favour of the PSA that the full 2.5% available under the Government’s wages policy be paid to members employed under the Public Sector Salaries and related awards.

The 0.23% increase was to take effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2013.

However, the O’Farrell Government was again not prepared to accept the independent umpire’s decision.

Accordingly, and in a further attempt to undermine the Commission, the NSW Government:

1. Re-published an amended Industrial Relations (Public Sector Conditions of Employment) Regulation 2011 directing the Commission to include superannuation in the 2.5% increase thereby cutting the available wage rise. A similar Regulation was disallowed by NSW Parliament in September 2013;
2. Filed an appeal in the Industrial Relations Commission to have Justice Boland’s decision and orders quashed; and
3. Lodged an appeal in the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of NSW seeking to have the Commission’s decisions and orders quashed.

If the matter before the Court of Appeal fails then the Government will rely on its redrafted Regulation, subject to it again not being disallowed by Parliament, to enforce the previously paid 2.27% wage increase.

The application for judicial review of the decision will be heard in the NSW Court of Appeal on 3 February 2014.

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