NSW wages policy blown up by Fair Work Commission

The Fair Work Commission has today blown a credibility hole in the NSW Government’s wages policy, providing Sydney Trains employees with an additional one per cent pay rise annually for 2022 and 2023.

During last year’s protracted negotiations unions and the Government agreed to allow the Fair Work Commission to arbitrate this dispute.

The independent umpire has now returned a decision significantly higher than the wage cap that applies to nurses, paramedics, teachers and police, proving just how out of step Dominic Perrottet is with modern economic reality.

Thanks to the additional one per cent Sydney Trains employees will receive a total pay rise of 

  • 3.53% from 1 May 2022 (with the difference made up in backpay); 
  • 4.03% from 1 May 2023
  • A one-off flat payment of $4,500 

“This is a momentous decision that delivers significantly higher pay than the NSW Government intended. The credibility of its pay policy is in tatters,” said Mark Morey, Secretary of Unions NSW.

“The Fair Work Commission is independent of politicians. Its experts have assessed the evidence and outright rejected the stingy approach of Dominic Perrottet, instead awarding a pay rise that goes further in easing the strain on family budgets.

“An extra one per cent a year will make a significant difference. For many it will be the difference between paying for school excursions or a modest summer holiday.

“In the real world people are struggling with surging rents, sky high mortgages and persistently expensive petrol. But Dominic Perrottet doesn’t live in the real world. He sees essential workers as a line item on a budget and he’s content with pay increases that are less than half the rate of inflation. 

“In its arguments the Government provided no evidence that this pay claim was unaffordable.

“People are going backwards in NSW. We can do better, unions know it, the Fair Work Commission knows it and the broader public knows it.”