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Public Service Commission


Chapter 9

Around 150 instruments determine remuneration for the NSW Public Service, and a further 100 apply to the rest of the NSW public sector. Remuneration data is reported as the total annual base salary (for full-time equivalent (FTE) roles) and excludes other payments such as allowances, penalty rates and superannuation. Many employees in the NSW public sector are paid within a salary band or range that includes an annual increment subject to meeting certain performance standards.

Median remuneration all employees

$87,926 (+2.5% vs 2018)

Median remuneration male

$89,928 (+3.7% vs 2018

Median remuneration female

$87,926 (+2.5% vs 2018)

Median remuneration for non-casual employees in the NSW public sector was $87,926 in 2019, an increase of 2.5% from 2018. While this increase was in line with NSW Government wages policy (annual increase at 2.5%)1, it outpaced the increase in Sydney’s Consumer Price Index (1.7%).2 However, growth in NSW public sector median remuneration did not exceed the growth in average full-time weekly earnings in Australia (3.0%).3,4 Figure 9.1 shows how the median salary in the public sector increased steadily over the past decade in accordance with wages policy remaining at 2.5% since 2011.

Within the government sector, the service with the highest median remuneration in 2019 was the Teaching Service (see Table 9.1). In contrast, other Crown services had the lowest median remuneration, consistent with previous years. This was largely related to School Support Staff which constituted 49.8% of other Crown services in 2019 and had a median salary of $48,588, 3.4% lower than in 2018. Most of these employees were Teachers’ Aides (54.4%) or General Clerks (43.3%).

Table 9.1: Median remuneration by service, (non-casual) employees at census date, 2018–19
Service 2018 2019 Change (%)
Public Service $88,851 $92,026 3.6
NSW Health Service $85,466 $87,603 2.5
NSW Police Force $90,103 $92,026 2.1
Teaching Service $100,299 $102,806 2.5
Transport Service $79,007 $88,450 12.0
Other Crown services $58,516 $59,636 1.9
Total government sector $85,782 $87,926 2.5
State owned corporations $96,151 $98,218 2.1
External to government sector $122,437 $126,923 3.7
Total public sector $85,782 $87,926 2.5

In 2019, the Transport Service had the largest increase in median remuneration, at 12%. One factor contributing to this change was the exit of more than 1,000 lower-paid bus operator roles, due to State Transit Authority franchising Region 6. Transport advised there was also an increase in higher duties arrangements in 2019 due to new recruitment principles introduced to support business continuity and as a result of machinery of government changes. However, they also confirmed that the increase in median remuneration in 2019 has been artificially inflated due to their 2018 data incorrectly understating the number of employees in higher duties arrangements. As a result this increase should be treated with caution.


1 NSW Public Sector Wages Policy 2011.
2 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2018, Consumer Price Index, Australia, cat. no. 6401.0, Jun 2019, viewed 11 October 2019, https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/6401.0Main+Features1Jun…
3 Based on full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings in Australia
4 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2018, Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, cat. no. 6302.0, May 2018, viewed 15 August 2019, https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/030…