Wages Cap Timeline - Public Service Association

Year Information
2011 On 16 June, the O’Farrell Government overturns the Industrial Relations Commission’s (IRC’s) 80 years of independence and passes legislation to cap public sector wage increases at 2.5 per cent per annum. The Industrial Relations Amendments (Public Sector Conditions of Employment) Act 2011 gives the Government complete power to determine (or deny) wage increases and conditions through regulations for public sector workers
2011 The PSA launches its campaign to scrap the cap. Within days more than 10,000 signatures are obtained on a petition. With this move, the PSA was one of the first organisations to take up Mr O’Farrell’s commitment to debate any petition presented to Parliament.
2012 The PSA takes the matter to the High Court, arguing that the Act is interfering with the independence of the judiciary, which is one of the basic tenets of a liberal democracy. However, the High Court rules in favour of the NSW Government.
2012 The NSW Government files an application with the IRC for a new Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Award. Some of the proposed cuts to public sector conditions of employment include the abolition of:

  • 5 per cent annual leave loading.
  • The ability for employees to work from home.
  • The allowance for living in a remote area.
  • Paid Family and Community Services Leave
2012 On 8 October PSA members hold a half-day stoppage against the proposed changes in conditions. Subsequently the Government withdraws its application
2013 The PSA goes to the IRC demanding the Super Guarantee increases due to public servants be paid on top of the salary increase. The IRC decides in the PSA’s favour.
2013 The NSW Government negates the IRC’s decision when it passes legislation that incorporates the Super Guarantee Levy increases into the 2.5 per cent pay increases.
2020 The State Government attempts to freeze Public Sector pays. The PSA takes its case to the IRC, which awards Public Sector workers a 0.3 per cent pay increase.
2021 While handing down its 2021/22 Budget NSW Government in June, it awards Public Sector workers a salary increase of 2.5 per cent, but this includes the Super Guarantee increase of 0.5 per cent.
2022 The PSA launches a new campaign: The Public Sector Needs a Pay Rise.
2022 The Australian Bureau of Statistics releases the March Quarter figures showing the Consumer Price Index for the year is 5.1 per cent, reiterating the need to scrap the wages cap.
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