Allegations have surfaced that Indigenous people working in the Department of Prime Minster and Cabinet are getting paid less than their non-Indigenous counterparts, for doing similar work.
By
Brooke Boney

18 Feb 2014 - 4:36 PM  UPDATED 19 Feb 2014 - 12:09 PM

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion has addressed allegations that Indigenous people working in the Department of Prime Minster and Cabinet are getting paid less than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

The dispute was raised when staff members were shifted from other federal government departments to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

During the move, the number of Indigenous staff in the department went from six to 260 but claims have emerged that some of them are getting paid much less than other people.

It is alleged at least six public servants working at the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, otherwise known as FACHSIA, gets paid $11,000 less than someone who works for the PM's Department. 

At an executive level that gap is nearly $20,000. 

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said that he suspected the allegations - first published in The Sydney Morning Herald - to be untrue.

He said all the staff who were transferred were in the same position, and that each department has different enterprise bargaining agreements. 

"Now I understand all those agreements - for example, someone who came over from DEEWR - will be on a different agreement than someone who is from FACHSIA," he said. "They've all come over to PMC."

"Now the PMC agreement will be renegotiated later in the year."

But a source close to NITV says former FACHSIA employees have already been told they won't be getting a pay rise.

Alistair Waters is from the Public Sector Union, which is negotiating the next set of contracts. 

"We know that this is going to be a very tough round of bargaining," he said.

"And that money is tight across the public service but we have a very simple request and that is that workers who are doing work of equal value should be getting the same paying conditions."

All of the current agreements expire on the 30th of June this year.