CPSU members have approved an 11.2 per cent APS pay deal.

Members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) have voted in favour of the revised pay offer from the government, including a 0.92 per cent sign-on bonus. 

The decision paves the way for the implementation of a new pay deal across the Australian Public Service through fresh enterprise agreements.

After initially rejecting the 11.2 per cent offer as insufficient, the CPSU recommended its members accept the revised proposal, resulting in a 67.5 per cent majority vote in favour. 

More than 16,000 members participated in the poll, signalling a willingness among public servants to avoid prolonged disputes.

CPSU National Secretary Melissa Donnelly has emphasised the union's successful advocacy for service-wide bargaining, saying; “Service-wide bargaining, which the CPSU fought to secure for almost two decades, has delivered significant progress on workers’ pay and conditions in one fell swoop”. 

The compromise follows nearly six months of negotiations that extended beyond the Australian Public Service Commission's initial timeline, causing tensions with other unions aiming for a higher pay increase.

Despite not achieving their initial target of 20 per cent over three years, the CPSU secured several substantial improvements in the APS-wide package. 

Notable gains include flexible work and working-from-home rights, job security protections, enhanced parental leave, consultation rights, and support for First Nations employees.

However, internal dissent within the CPSU, represented by a group known as Members United, suggests some members advocate for a more assertive stance on securing wage rises. 

The successful vote may strengthen the position of the incumbent leadership, led by Melissa Donnelly.

In a strategic move, the CPSU's leadership highlighted the absence of trade-offs in the negotiated pay offer, acknowledging that while not all members may find it adequate, the deal preserves conditions without compromising other benefits.

The approved deal is expected to inject extra funds into public servants' pockets before Christmas, but it has sparked a split within the union landscape. 

The Taxation Officers’ Branch of the Australian Services Union, representing ATO staff, remains cautious and has not endorsed the CPSU decision, keeping its options open for a potential 'no' vote in individual agency staff votes.

The ASU's reluctance is grounded in concerns that the 11.2 per cent offer may not be sufficient, considering the unique position of ATO staff critical to government revenue collection. 

The ASU aims for a decisive 'no' vote, seeking an independently binding decision from the Fair Work Commission, differentiating its approach from the CPSU's endorsement.

As CPSU elections approach, the successful negotiation of an APS-wide deal stands as a significant accomplishment for Public Service Minister Katy Gallagher, aligning with Labor's commitment to genuine negotiations and reducing fragmentation in pay and conditions across the APS.