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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Public Sector Union Wages Agreement 2019

Public Sector Union Wage Agreement (PSUWA) 2019

The PSUWA 2019 was registered on 25 February 2020 and it affects employees covered by the Tasmanian State Service Award (TSSA) and the Health and Human Services Award (HAHSA). As part of the negotiations for the Agreement, there were a number of non-agreement matters discussed and agreed to by parties, in addition to the changes in the Agreement and relevant Awards.

Changes to the Agreement

Salary Increases

The Salary increases benefit has been backdated to the first full pay period after 1 December 2019, resulting in a once off backdated pay in conjunction with the increased salary rate:

  • 2.3% per annum with effect from the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 December 2019
  • 2.3% per annum with effect from the 1 December 2020
  • 2.35% per annum with effect from the 1 December 2021

Improved Employer Superannuation Benefits

To support parents who may take a period of leave, to care for a new child, superannuation will be paid on the unpaid component of the leave.  Employer superannuation contributions will also now be topped up to 100% for those employees who take parental leave on half-pay.  This addresses significant disadvantage that has been experienced in the past by parents who may take unpaid leave to care for new children and have experienced a gap in their superannuation contributions as a consequence.

Employer superannuation payment will now be paid to those employees who are receiving workers compensation payments when they are totally or partially incapacitated. These benefits are effective from the first full pay period after 1 December 2019.

Improved Family Friendly Provisions

New parents will be able to access an additional two weeks of paid leave to support caring for a new child. For employees on maternity or adoption leave, this will increase from 14 weeks to 16 weeks. Partners will also be able to access an increase in paid leave, from 1 week to 3 weeks, following the birth of a new child. These changes are effective from the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 December 2019.

Leave Re-Credit

If an employee, faces the difficult circumstances of having to deal with a bereavement or needs to access compassionate leave, whilst either on recreation leave or parental leave, this entitlement can now be accessed and your recreation leave will be recredited and parental leave adjusted.

20 personal leave days per year to be used for Carer's leave purposes

Employees have previously been able to utilise 10 of their personal leave days, for carer’s purposes.  This has now been extended, so that employees have 20 personal leave days available for caring purposes per year. ie.

  • Employees will be able to access up to a maximum of 147 hours per year under the TSSA and 152 hours per year under HAHSA for carers leave subject to award conditions.

Non-Agreement Matters

Change to Employment Direction No. 1

As part of the Public Sector Union Wages Agreement (PSUWA), a new version of Employment Direction No 1 has been reissued which came into effect on 9 March 2020. The changes made relate to Clause 17, Promotion without Advertising. The previously existing power to approve promotion without advertising where the Head of the State Service (HoSS) determines special and compelling circumstances remains, and this applies to all employees covered under ED 1.

There are now two specific provisions relating to promotion without advertising for the employees covered under PSUWA (those covered by TSSA and HAHSA), over and above what is in 17.1c, under these new clauses:

  • Clause 17.4 – (in summary), where a permanent employee who has been receiving a higher duties allowance (HDA) under a fixed term temporary assignment of duties for at least 36 months makes an application for a review of their status in relation to those duties, a Head of Agency (HoA) will, where the criteria of that clause are met, seek promotion without advertising; and
  • Clause 17.5 – (in summary), where the appropriate delegate (usually a Head of Agency) determines that the classification of the duties a permanent employee is currently undertaking is higher than the classification of the duties that the employee was initially appointed or promoted to, and where there is an ongoing need for the employee to continue to perform those higher classified duties, the HoA may request promotion without advertising.

Review of Fixed-Term Employment (for particular cohorts only)

For those groups or categories where the proportion fixed term employees has been determined to be greater than 15 percent (as outlined below), Heads of Agencies have been asked to conduct a formal review of the employment status of each fixed term employee in those groups and/or categories to either confirm the legitimacy of the fixed term employment status or change the employment status to permanent if the following criteria are met:

* The fixed-term has been for a continuous period of 24 months, or eight continuous school terms for school based employees of the Department of Education performing the same or similar duties;

* There is clearly an ongoing requirement for those duties or similar duties; and

* There have been three or more consecutive fixed-term periods of employment.

Note: Employment will be considered continuous even if it has been broken by a period of four weeks unless there was a legitimate reason why the duties the fixed term employee was performing (on one fixed term instrument) no longer needed to be performed by anyone before the employee was engaged to perform them again on the next fixed term instrument.

If a Head of Agency does not change the employment status of a fixed term employee who meets all the criteria outlined above, the Head of Agency is to provide written reasons to the employee outlining why the status was not changed.

It was agreed by all parties that the following cohorts will be reviewed:

  • Teacher Assistants (Department of Education)
  • Education Facility Attendants (Department of Education)
  • Library Service Officers and Customer Service Officers (Department of Education)
  • Allied Health Professionals (all Departments)
  • Health Service Officers (Department of Health)
  • Service Tasmania Client and Customer Service Officers (Department of Premier and Cabinet)
  • Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

Tasmanian Jobs and Skills Exchange (TJASE)/Mobility Register

For those employees covered by PSUWA it has been agreed that:

  • A Mobility Register for the PSUWA be progressed through the establishment of a working group that will consider the merit and value proposition of a Mobility Register.
  • The working group will review the Victorian Jobs and Skills Exchange model and its applicability in the Tasmanian State Service.
  • The aim will be to have a Register established by 31 July 2020 (acknowledging that this timeframe may be impacted by recent events).