Public sector workers in South Australia have cast a "vote of confidence" on the state's latest pay deal, with 84% voting in favour of it.
More than 40,000 employees are covered by the South Australian Public Sector Enterprise Agreement: Salaried 2021, which will give workers a yearly raise of 1.5% in the next three years. Increases are scheduled for August 2022, 2023 and 2024, officials announced last week.
Meanwhile, employees who were hired around the time the agreement was approved will receive a one-time payment of $1,000, pro-rated for part-time staff.
The pay deal shows that the government invests in its workforce and is ready to provide "exceptionally fair and reasonable salary increases and employment conditions," said SA Treasurer Rob Lucas.
The increases come at a time when public sector workers remain on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite facing a higher risk of exposure to the virus than most other sectors, government staff supported operations while the rest of Australia was placed in lockdown.
"Throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, our public sector employees have stepped up to ensure the South Australian public sector continues to deliver great results and outcomes for the entire South Australian community," Lucas said, adding how staff deserve gratitude for their "tireless work, often in trying circumstances".
"This agreement is the culmination of respectful negotiations between all parties, and will ensure SA is well-placed to continue our strong recovery from the global pandemic," he said.