Federal super blowout at $50bn

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 22-Oct-19

The Department of Finance has released data showing that the federal government’s unfunded superannuation liability topped $233.1bn at the end of 2018-19, compared with $183.1bn at the start of the financial year. Meanwhile, the Future Fund’s assets rose to $165.7bn in the year to September. The Future Fund Act allows the government to begin withdrawing money from the sovereign wealth fund in 2020 to meet unfunded super liabilities, although the Coalition has renewed a 2017 commitment to not do so.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. FUTURE FUND MANAGEMENT AGENCY, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR-GENERAL

Public servants set the pace in race for pay rise

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 15-Aug-19

The Australian Bureau of Statistics advised on 14 August that overall wages had increased by 0.6 per cent in the June quarter. Public sector wages rose by 0.8 per cent, while private sector wages were up by just 0.5 per cent. For the year to June, public sector wages were up by 2.6 per cent, while private sector wages rose by 2.3 per cent. Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe had stated on 9 August that federal and state governments should lift caps on public sector wages; he claimed the caps were impeding general salary increases. However, his calls to lift caps were attacked by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE

Labor reckless, irresponsible for public sector wage call

Original article by Richard Ferguson, Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 31-Jul-19

Shadow financial services minister Stephen Jones says the federal government should stimulate the economy and wages growth by increasing salaries in the public sector. He argues that the government is a major employer and it should "lead by example" in boosting wages. His comments follow the release of Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey data, which highlights the low growth in average income since the global financial crisis. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann contends that public sector employees receive "reasonable and affordable" pay rises via workplace bargaining.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, ACTU, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. INSTITUTE OF APPLIED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH

Huge taxpayer bill

Original article by Rob Harris, Claire Bickers
Herald Sun – Page: 4 : 11-Dec-18

Analysis shows that the pension, travel and office entitlements of former Australian prime ministers have cost taxpayers about $19m in total since 2010. Meanwhile, new figures show that the ousting of ex-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in August has cost more than $4.5m in severance pay This includes nearly $1.9m in payouts for 35 staffers who opted not to remain in the prime minister’s office following the leadership spill.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Industry staff tapped to opt out of new deal

Original article by Sally Whyte
The Canberra Times – Page: 16 : 26-Oct-18

The federal Department of Industry, Innovation & Science may use a clause in the Public Service Act that allows departmental secretaries to make determinations about pay and conditions, so long as there is no loss to the benefits of staff. Civil servants are being asked to vote on whether they want the Department to make such a determination, which would see the terms of their current enterprise agreement maintained, or to enter into a new bargaining process with the Community & Public Sector Union. The CPSU wants staff to vote against the determination proposal.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE, COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC SECTOR UNION

Federal agencies to dodge union deals

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 9-Feb-18

Australian Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd says smaller government agencies are most likely to ditch enterprise agreements under the Coalition’s new policy on public sector bargaining. It allows departments and agencies to opt for alternative workplace arrangements such as common law employment contracts. Lloyd notes that unions tend to have greater influence on workplace negotiations in larger agencies, where enterprise agreements will most likely continue to prevail. The new policy has been criticised by Labor, which has raised the spectre of a return to the WorkChoices era.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC SECTOR UNION

‘Good debt’ to underwrite Future Fund

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 19 & 22 : 1-Sep-17

The Future Fund has posted an annual return of 8.7 per cent for 2016-17, compared with its target return of 6.9 per cent. However, chairman Peter Costello says returns and asset values are likely to be affected by an expected rise in interest rates. He adds that the Federal Government’s decision to postpone drawdowns by five years will allow the sovereign wealth fund to cover all unfunded public sector super liabilities, which are forecast to top $A200bn in 2021. The Government will increase what Treasurer Scott Morrison labels "good" debt to fund super liabilities between 2021 and 2026.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FUTURE FUND MANAGEMENT AGENCY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA, QIC LIMITED, PORT OF MELBOURNE

Public service fat cats, MPs get the cream

Original article by Adam Creighton, Primrose Riordan, David Uren
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 23-Jun-17

Australia’s Remuneration Tribunal has granted federal politicians, judges and high-ranking public servants a two per cent pay rise from 1 July 2017. Greens leader Richard Di Natale has queried the need for a pay rise, as has Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm. Nadine Flood of the Community & Public Sector Union says its members, who have been battling with the Coalition government for improved wages since it was elected in 2013, are unlikely to be impressed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. REMUNERATION TRIBUNAL, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY, COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC SECTOR UNION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF DEFENCE, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Bureaucrats eye $1m pay despite flat wage growth

Original article by David Uren, Sarah Elks
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 24-Aug-16

New figures show that the annual remuneration of many senior federal public servants have risen significantly since 2008. The secretary of the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, Martin Parkinson, is paid $A861,700 each year, while Treasury secretary John Fraser is paid $A840,810. Both salaries are much higher than the remuneration of their predecessors during the global financial crisis. Public servants in many states have also enjoyed strong growth wages over the last eight years.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. REMUNERATION TRIBUNAL, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Public servants offered 0% pay rises

Original article by Markus Mannheim
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: 12 : 6-Nov-14

The Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Research Council are among the Federal Government agencies that are seeking to exclude staff pay rises from new enterprise agreements. Given that inflation is forecast to be between 2.5 and 2.75 per cent annually, these staff face the prospect of effectively having their pay cut. Military personnel have been offered a pay rise of 1.5 per cent

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CRIME COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN RESEARCH COUNCIL, AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC SECTOR UNION