Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Water NSW update

Water NSW update – October 2017 (PDF version)

FWC 3.3 per cent for 2017

As reported recently, the CPSU NSW has applied to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to address the anomalies that Water NSW used to not pass on the full 3.3 per cent to former DPI Water employees. Water NSW has engaged lawyers to respond and the issue has gone to the FWC President for consideration and/or allocation. The advice from our lawyers and barrister is we have a very strong chance of being successful.

Feedback needed

Last week your union put out a members’ update on the proposed pay, conditions, allowances and bonus scheme. In relation to changes to allowances (remote area and travelling for people living in remote areas) the union needs your feedback. State Water Corporation (SWC) employees had this rolled into the salaries, and Water NSW asserts that if these allowances are rolled out for all, those SWC employees who received the salary increase would have to have their salaries reduced. Please answer the quick survey HERE.

Pay and classification

Water NSW presented its updated version of the pay and classification structure. The result would be hundreds of employees receiving a pay cut in real terms with zero per cent to one per cent pay rise; all increases after 2017 discretionary, subject to performance; and a bonus scheme we don’t know how long will last. The current SWC bonus scheme was largely ceased reportedly due to budget constraints. What’s to say this new one won’t follow the same path and no longer apply after the first year or so?

Water NSW also claims the Mercer evaluation system provides the same salaries for employees doing the work of the same or similar value. The CPSU NSW and other unions have a lot of experience with Mercer and we do not agree. The CPSU NSW sees Mercer as not providing genuine value for highly specialised positions, especially those for the broader public benefit. It is also very hierarchical, with positions requiring to be graded lower than whatever the managers are graded at. The union feels this distorts the grading and evaluation of positions rather than equalising them.

DPI Water employees were either Clerk Grades (evaluated under Mercer) or on specialist awards such as the Departmental Officers Award, Department Professional Officers Award or the Technical Officers (Scientific) Award. Employees who moved into SWC a number of years ago were all on these same awards as well. Many are still on salary maintenance to retain similarly salary levels to current DOs, DPOs and TOs.

The CPSU NSW views this as important, as the union does not accept Mercer evaluates these sorts of roles appropriately. When the rules are broken, it is up to union members to demand that we change the rules! The union has proposed an evaluation of maintaining the DO, DPO and TO classifications to see if this can produce a fairer outcome for all Water NSW employees.

 Non-union ballot

Water NSW may decide to try to put the enterprise agreement out to vote of all staff, even if the unions don’t support it. If this happens, all CPSU NSW members will need to campaign hard to ensure that management don’t get an agreement that is broken, that cuts wages in real terms and unfairly punishes specialise and technical roles.

  • Please forward this to your colleagues.
  • CPSU NSW members are Stronger Together – with more and more Water NSW employees JOINING the CPSU NSW, your Union can support members to get the best outcome for all employees Water NSW.

Your bargaining team is:

Remember, you can contact your bargaining team by emailing

Tim Budd, Andrew Harrison, Richard Wheatley and Scott Butler from Water NSW, and CPSU NSW industrial staff Thane Pearce, Blake Stephens, and Lisa Nelson.

Please note, all members of the Public Service Association of NSW are also members of the CPSU NSW. Members retain their membership if/when transferring between the Public Service and Government Services such as State Owned Corporations.

Included with your CPSU NSW membership is:

  • Five per cent off grocery shopping at Coles and Woolworths through Union Shopper. Purchase $100 gift cards for $95. Union Shopper also has a wide range of cheap deals for union members including electrical and white goods, cars, insurance and more. Visit to see the full range for CPSU NSW members
  • Provident Fund pays $3,500 to nominated beneficiary if a union member dies, regardless of cause
  • Free Wills – through our associated law firm McNallys Jones Staff
  • Salary Insurance if injured travelling to or from work – this is no longer covered by workers compensation (see Product and Disclosure Statement and Policy HERE)
  • Personal Injury Insurance – permanent disability or death as a result of an accident (doesn’t cover sickness, medical expenses or income insurance). Provides up to $30,000 if the member dies from an accident, or up to $60,000 if an accident leads to quadriplegia or paraplegia. Bed care if hospitalised of $50 per day. Subject to terms and conditions, please read the Product Disclosure Statement and Policy HERE
  • Exclusive deals on home loans, credit cards, personal loans and insurance products from Sydney Credit Union (SCU)
  • A scholarship of $850 per year for three years for children of union members who start university, subject to conditions
  • Welfare Rights Centre – provides support on all welfare/social services, including family allowances, sickness benefits, births and deaths, Austudy, unemployment, sole parenting etc.
  • Workers Health Centre – rehabilitation centre and WHS services.

See for the full details and remember, your union membership is fully tax deductible.