Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Corrective Services; Industrial Relations

    Enhanced changes to WA public sector wages policy

    31/07/2022 9:00 AM
    • Updated wages policy to deliver a sector wide, one-off $2,500 cost of living payment, in addition to 3 per cent increases per annum for two years
    • Some low paid workers to get equivalent of an 8 per cent increase in the first year
    • McGowan Government recognises cost of living pressures and enhanced the policy
    • On top of wage increase, public sector workers will also benefit from a 0.5 per cent superannuation guarantee increase per annum for two years
    • Agreements already accepted will automatically receive the adjustments as part of the updated state wages policy

    The McGowan Labor Government has today announced enhanced changes to its public sector wages policy, including a 3 per cent wage increase per annum for two years in addition to a sector wide, one-off $2,500 cost of living payment where an agreement has been reached.


    These new changes will take immediate effect for industrial agreement offers that have already been accepted.


    This means for someone such as a Level 3 patient care assistant, whose annual salary is $55,322, will receive the equivalent of a 7.5 per cent increase in the first year, inclusive of the one-off cost of living payment.


    Part-time and casual public sector workers under the policy will also receive the same wage increases and a pro-rata cost of living payment.


    Latest figures released last week calculated Perth's CPI at 6 per cent in annual average terms over 2021-22, however, this figure is artificially higher due to the previous $600 WA household electricity credit - without the electricity sub-index included the figure is 5.1 per cent.


    The changes announced today will benefit more than 150,000 public sector workers and are expected to cost $634 million over the next four years, bringing the total wages policy to $2.54 billion over the next four years.


    Workers covered by industrial agreements that have already been accepted based on the original policy announced in December 2021 will receive the difference and have the $2,500 cost of living payment paid in coming weeks. This means teachers, doctors and transit guards will receive the $2,500 payment very shortly, in addition to the new increase in wages.


    WA public sector workers will also benefit from the 0.5 per cent superannuation guarantee increase per annum, on top of the 3 per cent annual wage increase.  


    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:


    "We've been listening and looking at it to ensure any adjustments that can be made to our public sector wages policy best respond to the current environment sensibly and reasonably.


    "Our public sector workers deserve this wage increase, and I am glad we can deliver it responsibly given our strong budget management.


    "We've continued to look for ways to support workers, and that is why among a range of support measures already in place, we will provide a sector-wide one-off $2,500 cost of living payment, which will provide immediate assistance to WA public sector workers at a time when they most need it.


    "Today's announcement continues my government's commitment to delivering cost of living relief for Western Australians and our hard working public sector workers – building on our $400 Household Electricity Credit, one of a kind WA Free RAT program, capped regional airfares, capped Perth public transport and other initiatives to support the broader WA community.


    "I want to acknowledge the efforts and work of our entire public sector workforce and that is why the cost-of-living payment will go to every public sector worker not just one particular sector like in some of the other states.


    "There is a range of external issues at play such as the international events and global sanctions with energy and oil which have also heavily contributed to the increasing cost pressures on households in Australia, and we expect this will moderate in due course."


    Comments attributed to Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:


    "The policy strikes the right balance and provides a significant pay increase for workers, given the current inflationary pressures.


    "The current CPI is temporary and is expected to taper off over time.  

    "Unions which have already accepted an offer under the original wages policy, announced in December 2021, will not miss out under these changes to bolster the State wages policy.

    It means the policy will apply to industrial agreements that had been accepted prior to these changes and workers will also receive these same benefits."


    Annual salary3% wage increase and $2,500 cost of living payment (%)3% wage increase and $2,500 cost of living payment ($)


    Note: 5.1% is the annual average Perth CPI growth for the 12 months to June 2022 (excluding electricity costs).


    Premier's office - 6552 5000

    Industrial Relations Minister's office - 6552 6700