VPS 2024 - Bargaining Update

Updated 29/02/2024

Our negotiating team is working hard to squeeze out the best possible outcome in the context of the government’s pay policy and are continuing negotiations on smaller changes to improve the Agreement.

Key issues that the union remains focused on include:

•    Salary Increases – Wages policy provides 3% per annum pay increases, plus CPSU has confirmed the mobility allowance payment from VPS Agreement 2020 of 1.25% every year remains from 1st July 2024 and would apply also in the 2025, 2026, & 2027 subsequent years. Govt will also provide a cash payment equivalent to 0.5% of total cost of the new Agreement or approx $5,500 per employee (equivalent to 6% for ave. VPS salary at $90K) under their wages policy. CPSU is keen to maximise the total funding available and is considering applying this cost of living boost in total immediately or in parts and up front in any proposed Agreement.

•    Overtime for VPS5s and above – CPSU has been adamant that these members get adequately remunerated for their additional hours and we are working on a best practice commitment and more extensive guidance to ensure these employees have the right to TIL after Govt representatives would not agree to paid time without the cost coming from within their total wages policy envelope.

•    A facilitative arrangement for a 4 Day Work Week – the discussions with Govt representatives could involve broader pilots of flexible and hybrid hours and CPSU is adamant those pilots include our claim.

•    Improving gender equity across and through the Agreement – encouraging greater joint participation of both parents in parental leave has been a CPSU goal. The parties are exploring extending superannuation on parental leave for 104 weeks of paid and unpaid leave which is double the current entitlement.

•    Improving dispute resolution – The parties are exploring ensuring common policies and best practice commitments are enforceable but they will not be included in the Agreement. 

•    Improving Agency appendix entitlements – facilitated discussions underway this week with Julius Roe.

The union’s claim is extensive and ambitious after being developed in consultation with our members.  

Our CPSU Victorian Branch Council met and received this update on the progress of the facilitated negotiations with Government representatives which are being chaired by former Fair Work Commissioner Julius Roe.

Progress has been made on the common conditions and salary increase outcomes.

We had not made public comments up until now while in facilitated discussions.

We have progressed negotiations well and we will achieve many improvements and real wage increases.

CPSU is also aware that members will benefit from recent dual 'Closing the Loopholes' federal laws and the 0.5% increase in the Superannuation guarantee, along with changes to taxation rates both applicable from 1st July 2024.

In terms of alternatives, the union is keenly aware of recent Fair Work decisions in intractable bargaining cases, which has set a precedent that is favorable to employers, and this now changes the mix of bargaining options available if we are unable to reach Agreement.   

CPSU will advertise online briefings to garner member feedback once it is determined what can be achieved through negotiations in the next fortnight.

CPSU and the State of Victoria remain committed to reaching in-principle agreement as soon as possible and by no later than the nominal expiry date of the current Enterprise Agreement on 20 March 2024.

If an agreement is unable to be reached prior to 20 March 2024, the current Enterprise Agreement will continue in operation until it is replaced by a new agreement.

A further bargaining update will come should facilitated negotiations provide a potential agreement or be exhausted.

CPSU Victorian Branch Secretary / Federal Secretary