The Barnett Government has had its biggest second-term industrial relations win yet, with public servants voting to accept its inflation-only pay deal for the next three years.
Threatened strike action by the Community and Public Sector Union never materialised and 40,000 public servants will now received pay rises of 2.75 per cent, 2.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent over the next three years.
A majority of CPSU members approved the new public sector general agreement when a ballot closed this afternoon.
Public servants had initially been offered 2.5 per cent in year one of the deal, but Treasury amended its official inflation forecast for Perth for 2014-15 upward 0.25 per cent to 2.75 per cent, giving the Government more room to move under its wages policy.
The deal is in line with those recently accepted by WA police and firefighters.
Three quarters of WA MPs – those earning less than $221,000 a year – were awarded above-inflation pay rises of between 2.9 per cent and 3.8 per cent two weeks ago by the independent Salaries and Allowances Tribunal. All MPs got a flat $5585-a-week increase.
Despite backing down from strike threats, CPSU acting branch secretary Rikki Hendon claimed it was a good deal in the circumstances.
She said the Government had “forced” the wages policy on public servants.
“They chose to manipulate the public economic discussion in order to disadvantage public sector employees,” she said.
“Thousands of public servants are struggling to meet rising living costs and are working in agencies that have suffered major budget cutbacks to resources.”
Allied health workers and administrative staff in public hospitals, represented by the Health Services Union, and public school teachers are the next major negotiations the Government faces.