2023 State wage case

In the April 2023 SIRT Bulletin we provided information about the 2023 State Wage Case, the process for making submissions and how the State Wage Case decision will impact on Local Governments. We also advised that WALGA would be filing a written submission on behalf of the sector. A copy of WALGA’s written submissions is available on the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC) website here. You will also find the other written submissions from the s.50 parties (the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, the Minister for Industrial Relations and UnionsWA) and the WA Council of Social Service here.

The hearing of the State Wage Case took place on 24 May 2023. A video of the proceedings is available here. The decision has been reserved and the WAIRC will reconvene after the Fair Work Commission hands down its decision in the national Annual Wage Review. Information about the 2022-23 Annual Wage Review is available here.  
The written submissions and video provides information about the WA economy and industry skills. This information may be useful to Local Governments in upcoming agreement negotiations or for budgeting purposes. For example, the statistics can be useful to counter unreasonable union requests for wage increases. 

New public holiday general order

The WAIRC has now issued a new general order which applies to all employers and employees in the State industrial relations system, including Local Governments which are covered by WA awards or industrial agreements, that provides higher rates of pay for working a public holiday.
The general order is applicable from 18 May 2023 and provides that higher rates of pay for working on a public holiday apply when a special public holiday is proclaimed under s.7 of the Public and Bank Holidays Act 1972 (WA) (PBH Act). An example of a special public holiday was the National Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth the Second on 22 September 2022.
WALGA reported on the making of this general order in the March 2023 and the April 2023 SIRT Bulletins.
A copy of the general order is available here and the decision is available here. WA Local Governments are not required to backdate penalty payments under this general order for the National Day of Mourning. The order is relevant to future proclaimed holidays under s.7 of the PBH Act.

Bargaining for state industrial agreements 

Many Local Governments are negotiating and registering industrial agreements for the first time in the WAIRC. We have found that similar requests are being made by the unions and the WAIRC including about individual flexibility arrangements and the ability to displace the operation of the State awards so that the agreement can stand alone. Please feel free to call us if you are experiencing similar issues.

WALGA ER also offers the following services for subscribers specific to industrial agreements:
  • Advice about the bargaining process under the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA)
  • Advice about interpretation, bargaining strategy (oral only) and wage trends
  • Review of WAIRC application forms
  • Assistance with WAIRC requests and correspondence

Upcoming training

Register now for our new and revised training courses:
Register now for the WALGA People and Culture Seminar 2023

Registrations are now open for the 2023 WALGA People and Culture Seminar! Register early to make sure you don’t miss out as places are limited. 

The Seminar will provide you with an opportunity to hear from expert speakers on key HR/IR topics affecting the Local Government sector, and network with colleagues. The full program will be announced soon.

Date:      Thursday 27 July 2023
Time:      8:30am to 5pm
Venue:   Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, 21 Mounts Bay Road, Perth WA 6000


If you have any questions about this alert, please email WALGA Employee Relations or call 1300 366 956.