The PSA has been in negotiations with the Department of Education (DoE) regarding the Crown Employees (School Administrative and Support Staff) Award. Part of this negotiation is locking in your pay rise for 2022.
The PSA Pay Claim for School Administrative and Support Staff
Your union has been fighting for a fair and reasonable pay increase in line with cost of living pressures that are impacting many of our members across NSW.
The PSA position is that members should receive:
- A pay rise of 5.2 per cent. This is consistent with claims we have made for the PSA membership in the NSW Public Service
- A one-year award to ensure members are paid an increase this year and have the opportunity, through the PSA, to negotiate a fair increase next year
- Ensuring back pay to the first full pay period after 1 July 2022 in line with our broader pay case
What you need to know about the outcome of the wider pay case
Following our day of action on the 8 June 2022 the government took the PSA to the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC). There was no negotiation about our wages, it was straight to the IRC to force an outcome on PSA members.
On Friday, 22 July 2022, the PSA was in arbitration before a full bench of the IRC after the Government denied our wages claim, instead passing a new regulation temporarily changing its wages policy over the next two years to award Public Sector employees a three per cent pay rise. After the two years it will revert to the paltry 2.5 per cent that we have been dealing with since 2011.
Restrained by the Government’s unfair and unjust wages policy, the IRC awarded the state’s Public Sector workers a three per cent pay increase, which includes an increase to the superannuation levy, for one year from the first full pay period after 1 July 2022.
This decision proves the system is broken. The wages policy needs to change, so workers can negotiate for better pay and conditions not limited by the arbitrary wages cap that has applied for more than a decade.
What this means for the SASS pay case
The union has not changed its position. We know that the pay rise we are asking for is reasonable and fair in the current difficult economic environment.
But the unfair and unjust wages policy has the potential to stop us negotiating a proper pay rise for our SAS Staff members.
What the union is doing to protect back pay for members
To protect your back pay, regardless of the final increase amount, the PSA lodged an industrial dispute with the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (NSW IRC) which was filed on 15 July 2022. The primary purpose of the dispute was to preserve the back pay entitlement for SAS Staff members.
The matter was heard by the NSW IRC on 18 July by teleconference. During the teleconference, DoE undertook to back pay from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2022 however, this was contingent on the PSA agreeing to the department’s position by 31 July, a totally unsatisfactory timeline to the union.
Department of Education Position and Actions
The department made its position clear to the PSA on 24 June 2022 which was in line with the NSW Government’s position of a 3.0 per cent per annum (comprised of a 2.53 per cent increase to rates of pay and a 0.5 per cent increase for superannuation purposes) increase.
The department also confirmed that the pay rise is contingent on agreement to a two year award. As member’s know, the union does not agree that a two year award is fair given the cost of living pressures and dramatically changing economic environment we are all living under. It is more important than ever to ensure that we have the ability to negotiate fair and reasonable increases for SAS Staff in 2023 based on the situation at that time.
It is also important to note that all other departments have amended their salary increase cases in line with the outcome of the wider PSA case outlined earlier in this bulletin. This means DoE is the only remaining department pushing for a two year award.
Following the most recent meeting on 26 July the PSA wrote to the Department to acknowledge that they have said they will file an award application that provides an increase to remuneration for SAS Staff of 3.0 per cent per annum (comprised of a 2.53 per cent increase to rates of pay and a 0.5 per cent increase for superannuation purposes) for two years effectively forcing the Government’s unfair pay increase onto SAS Staff.
PSA Continues to Fight for a One Year Award and Fair Pay
The PSA’s position remains that the proposed new award is unsatisfactory and that it does not provide for a fair or reasonable salaries outcome.
The PSA will continue to do everything we can within the current broken system to secure not only a fair pay increase but also fight for a one year increase to pay so that our members are not locked in to unfair increases for two years during such a difficult and changing time. But the unfair and unjust wages policy has the potential to stop us negotiating a proper pay rise for our SAS Staff members
The union and the department are due to report back to the NSW IRC on 5 August and we will seek the assistance of the IRC to attempt to break the current impasse.
Your union is not stopping, and our fight continues for a fair pay rise and an end to a wages policy that becomes more and more unjust with every passing year.
There are few workers in the country who get to stipulate who their employer is. However, our members will have just this opportunity in March 2023, when NSW elects its 58th Parliament. We hope, when they enter the polling booth, PSA members remember how they have been treated by the Government and vote accordingly.