We have had a few questions about the work value research which forms part of the Remuneration Inquiry. The Inquiry is examining the wages of QAS employees as compared with occupations performing similar work value within other ambulance services. The Inquiry will also investigate work value changes within QAS.
A key focus of the Inquiry is a comparison of the national pay rates provided for performing similar work.
We have also received a query about Section 140FA of the Industrial Relations Act which states:
“For a periodic review, the commission may make a determination varying the rates of minimum wages in a modern award only if the commission is satisfied the variation is justified by work value reasons.”
This provision is irrelevant to the Inquiry. A “periodic review” is not due until the end of 2020. The Remuneration Inquiry will be completed at least three years before a periodic review would commence.
More importantly, the Remuneration Inquiry is reviewing and comparing actual remuneration paid across services over and above minimum award rates.
Comparable wages can be prescribed in negotiated certified agreements, or from arbitrated decisions, and can exceed minimum award rates.
The Inquiry won’t be restricted to comparing minimum award rates and will look at the higher rates paid around the country.