The Office of the National Safety Regulator has written to the CPSU and other bargaining representatives to confirm 26 February as the date for the first bargaining session in 2018.
Following the outcome of December’s enterprise agreement ballot in which 62 per cent of ONRSR staff voted to reject the agency’s package, the CPSU wrote to ONRSR to confirm that the union was keen to recommence negotiations as soon as possible.
We have since advised ONRSR’s bargaining team that we don’t believe the distance between staff and management is significant and can be addressed without substantial movement in the parties’ positions.
When we surveyed members prior to the December ballot, they identified the salary offer and incremental progression as key sticking points, and we intend to focus on these moving forward.
On incremental progression, the CPSU believes staff want greater transparency and certainty. In other words, where an agreed and measurable performance benchmark is achieved, incremental advancement will be approved.
In terms of the salary offer, ONRSR is proposing to maintain the prevailing annual arrangements, being two per cent or Consumer Price Index (whichever is greater).
The CPI figure is based on the 12-month weighted national average for the December quarter, which is currently 1.9 per cent. However, an analysis of the Capital Cities Index shows CPI varies substantially depending on where you live. The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures has most major cities outpacing the national inflation figure with Adelaide topping the chart at 2.3 per cent; Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra at 2.2 per cent; Hobart at 2.1 percent and Brisbane at 1.9 per cent. Only Darwin (1.0) and Perth (0.8) come in below the national average. Check out the ABS website HERE for more detail.
While the CPSU has sought annual salary increases of three per cent, we will be writing to ONRSR prior to 26 February to propose a 2.5 per cent or CPI increase (whichever is greater) in an effort to settle an agreement with the agency. Our proposal meets ONRSR half-way, and ensures staff wages keep pace with the national public sector average.
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