Many debates of public interest are often conducted on thin empirical foundations. Much of the work undertaken by the Workplace Research Centre is concerned with producing original, often detailed research reports on matters relevant to governments of all persuasions, employers, unions and non-government organisations to help deepen these foundations.
From time to time issues emerge on which Centre staff can retrieve data quickly which can illuminate an issue of public concern. In the past we have produced opinion pieces for the press or limited circulation briefings for interested parties.The material is best regarded as ‘off cuts’ from work in progress. While they are not as comprehensive or lengthy as our full research reports and scholarly publications they provide important research findings in a way that is accessible and timely to the broadest possible audience.
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Workplace Research Centre
University of Sydney NSW 2006
Interstate wage comparisons for public sector teachers, senior constables and registered nurses at the top of their pay scales
This note has been prepared to improve the factual basis on which debate about the future of wage setting for NSW public sector wage setting occurs.
The newly elected NSW Government has made some proposals for dramatic changes for wage determination for NSW public sector workers. In its arguments for why these changes are needed it has implied NSW public sector workers have had disproportionate wages growth over the last decade. The data released by NSW Treasury in particular implies there has been a wages explosion for this group of workers. This note assesses this assertion by reporting on how well NSW public sector workers are paid relative to their counter-parts in other states.
Comparison of NSW public sector workers with their private sector counterparts.
Official statistics appear to show that NSW public sector workers are better paid on average than their private sector counterparts. However, when we control for relevant factors (eg workers with similar levels of education and work experiences) we find that similarly qualified and experienced workers earn similar wages - whether they work in the NSW public sector or private sector.