A Fair Work Commission expert panel has accepted a CPSU NSW application, and amended its original 2016-2017 Annual Wage Review (AWR) decision to ensure employees covered by a copied state award receive up to 3.3 per cent. This is in line with what the panel originally intended, despite the change being strenuously opposed by lawyers acting for Water NSW. The decision has broad national implications and will benefit workers covered by copied state awards across all industries and professions.
The CPSU NSW brought the application on behalf of staff recently transferred to Water NSW from the Department of Primary Industry. It follows a decision by the corporation not to pass on the Fair Work Commission annual increase to copied state awards. Our application was also supported by the ASU and ACTU.
In dismissing the corporation’s submissions, the panel agreed with the CPSU NSW that an “obvious” drafting error had been made in the section of the AWR decision which dealt with copied state awards, to the extent that “it had the unintended effect of precluding all employees covered by copied state awards who had received an increase any time before 1 July the previous year from receiving the review increase of the current year”. In light of the error, the panel has ordered a correction to the original decision ensuring increases of up to 3.3 per cent are passed on in full.
As a result of the CPSU NSW’s legal action, recently transferred DPI staff will now receive an additional 1.65 per cent pay rise backdated to 1 July 2017. Affected CPSU NSW members earning around $80,000 should now receive back pay of at least $660 and more than $50 a fortnight extra in your pay.
Achievements like this is only possible through the support of CPSU NSW and PSA members. It is through your membership, your ongoing involvement with your union and the dedication of your hardworking delegates who volunteer their time that we are able to achieve excellent outcomes like this.
One small thing you can do to help your union to continue our work is to ask a colleague to JOIN the CPSU NSW (PSA). The more members involved, the stronger your union will be and the more we can achieve for our members.
As always, it pays to be union.