The calling of the federal election has complicated the situation facing ACMA employees who have now gone for nearly 3 years without a new Enterprise Agreement and related pay rise. The last rise was in July 2013.
E-bulletin readers will recall that, like many other Commonwealth public sector employees, ACMA staff roundly rejected the EA put to them by management in March.
That agreement provided a total 6% pay rise over 3 years – less than the average economy-wide rises that are currently being achieved even in a period of very low wage growth.
And yet ACMA workers are at the highly skilled end of the workforce.
The federal election means that this situation won’t change over the coming weeks.
While negotiations can and will continue, the “caretaker” conventions that come into play once an election is called mean that government agencies and departments should not do anything to “implement or entrench a policy, program or administrative structure which is politically contentious".
Well, that would include the Coalition’s public service pay policy, you’d think.
ACMA employees will no doubt be hoping for an election result that delivers them from the straightjacket of the Coalition’s anti-public sector, anti-worker policies. While the further delay is frustrating, that would be worth waiting for.