Premier & Cabinet

Premier's Memorandum

M2023-04 - NSW Government Fair Pay and Bargaining Policy 2023


The NSW Government’s Fair Pay and Bargaining Policy 2023 (“the policy”) applies to the government sector, including Public Service agencies, Departments, Executive agencies, and independent statutory bodies, including employees and staff identified in Section 5 (1) (b-f) of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013.

State Owned Corporations, including their subsidiaries, are strongly encouraged to adopt the terms of the policy and include a commitment to apply the policy within their Statements of Corporate Intent.

Detailed Outline

The NSW Government’s Fair Pay and Bargaining Policy 2023 implements the Government’s decision of 5 June 2023 to provide for increases to remuneration of up to 4.5 per cent (inclusive of superannuation) for one year for instruments which expired on or after 1 July 2023.

An additional increase may be available in FY2023-24, where a substantial employee contribution has been made to productivity enhancing reforms.

In addition, the policy provides a cooperative industrial relations framework, including a mutual gains bargaining approach to bargaining, across the NSW Government sector. This cooperative mutual gains bargaining approach will drive productivity and efficiency in public sector workplaces to deliver enhanced services for the people of New South Wales.

Before bargaining commences and arrangements are confirmed, agencies must follow the two-stage approval process required as part of mutual gains bargaining including:

  • Approval of agency interests in preparation for mutual gains bargaining; and

  • Approval of a final proposal.

Preliminary bargaining proposals, which set out interests, and final proposals must be submitted to the Senior Officials Wages Advisory Committee (SOWAC) convened by the Premier’s Department.

Bargaining proposals which propose to increase employee related expenses that are not contemplated by Government policy and priorities (including any proposed increases to remuneration or other conditions of employment) must also be submitted to SOWAC.

Following consideration by SOWAC, the agency’s portfolio Minister and the Minister for Industrial Relations are to submit the proposal to Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet for approval.

Agencies should ensure that periodic assessments are undertaken to ensure compliance with the policy at each stage of the process.

Agencies should refer to the detail of the policy whenever bargaining and when considering changes to remuneration or conditions of employment of public sector employees, whether or not they are to be included in formal industrial instruments. Agencies should contact Industrial Relations in the Premier’s Department for further advice when contemplating such changes.


Who needs to know and/or comply with this?

Executive agencies related to Departments
Separate agencies
State Owned Corporations
Statutory Authorities/Bodies
Subsidiaries of the NSW Government established under the Corporations Act
Advisory Entities (including Boards and Committees)



AR Details

Date Issued
Dec 4, 2023
Review Date
Mar 19, 2027
Replaced By


131 628
Publishing Entity
Premier's Department
Issuing Entity