The State Services Commission, which oversees employment negotiations in the tertiary education sector, has told its minister Dr Jonathan Coleman that it devising mechanisms to ensure pay-rises stay within the pre-election economic and fiscal update forecast of 1.1 percent.
State services commissioner Iain Rennie told Dr Coleman in his recently released briefing:
“Personnel cost growth in the State sector has been relatively contained in recent years, with industrial settlements of between 1–2 percent becoming the norm. This has been higher than the forecasts built into the pre-election economic and fiscal update, which forecast personnel costs to grow at an average of 1.1 percent. Future settlements of between 2.25 and 2.5 percent are starting to be reached in bargaining – putting significant pressure on agencies.”
Mr Rennie said the commission is working on mechanisms “to manage these pressures over the next 1–3 years” and the commission will discuss those mechanisms with the minister.
TEU national secretary Sharn Riggs said the commission was mistakenly treating state sector pay and especially tertiary education pay rates as an economic drag rather than an investment in strong public sector and strong communities.