Public Sector Agreement Update 1 May 2020
Friday 01 May 2020
Following on from our report two weeks ago, discussions have continued with the Health Department, ministers, and various other public sector agents to come to terms for a new Agreement. Progress has been made, but there is still work to do before we get to a good formal offer.
The focus of the union is to adapt to the environment we are in and deliver the best offer possible for members to consider. We remain steadfast in improving those items that members have said are needed to make a real difference to their experience at work. These include flexible working arrangements, workload management, working from home arrangements, leave entitlements and job security.
In the circumstances of an already weakened state economy with significant debt, there is little doubt that the existing wages policy will be revised by the state government. The timing of this revision is unclear. It may be before or around the next state budget in October, or it may be closer to the state election in March 2021.
While our state government’s income is buoyed to some degree by mining royalties (about 20 per cent of revenue), all other tax related revenue is expected to fall and unemployment increase. The full impact will only be clear as the further economic data is collected. In these uncertain times it is hard to predict exactly what this ‘new normal’ will look like, but we have an idea on some aspects of the emerging landscape.
We expect the state government will try to balance the expected deficit with some stimulus measures to create new jobs, as it attempts to manage the health crisis and its broad impacts across the economy.
We are aiming for negotiations with WA Health to continue in the coming weeks followed by government internal approval processes to produce a formal offer to the union that delivers real gains for members. Our goal is to get a timely formal offer from government which will mean a new replacement Agreement can be achieved by 30 June 2020.
In addition to working with the Committee of Management, we expect to have a forum via ZOOM with our Workplace Reps in the coming weeks to go into details on status and next steps.