Pay and Benefits

Sector pay movement

Figure 2 shows the pay movements for different sectors between June 2003 and June 2008 using the Labour Cost Index from Statistics New Zealand. Over the past five years, the change in salary and wage rates for the Public Service has been lower than that in the Health and Education sectors and similar to that in the private sector.

Figure 2. Labour Cost Index (LCI) - All Salary and Wage Rates, 2003 to 2008

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Source: Statistics NZ. Labour Cost Index - All Salary and Wage Rates

Salary rates and performance payments

As at 30 June 2008, the median base salary for public servants was $51,000 ($48,343 in 2007) and the average base salary was $59,532 ($56,619 in 2007). The 5.1% change in average salary is in line with the 5.0% change in 2007 and down from the 6.0 % change in 2006.

Average salary varied by occupation group ranging from $39,974 for contact centre workers, through to $102,687 for managers. The occupation group with the smallest increase in average salary was 'Advisors and Policy Analysts' which increased by 2% to $78,007. The largest increase was in the 'Social, Health, and Education Workers' occupation group, which increased by 5.9% to $50,759.

Table 7. Base salary of all staff, 2003-2008

 

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Median salary ($)

41,500

42,310

43,700

45,900

48,343

51,000

Average salary ($)

47,652

48,915

50,884

53,948

56,619

59,532

Percentage change in average salary (%)

3.8

2.7

4.0

6.0

5.0

5.1

Fourteen percent of public servants received lump sum performance payments during the year to 30 June 2008 14 (18% in 2007). Lump sum performance payments were made by 26 organisations and the average amount received 15 was $2,570. Table 8 below shows information on performance payments since the information was first collected in 2005.

Table 8. Lump Sum Performance payments, 2005-2008

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

Number of staff receiving performance payment

8,405

7,432

8,003

6,311

Percentage of staff receiving performance payments (%)

21

18

18

14

Average value of performance payment ($)

2,592

2,521

2,251

2,570

Pay gaps

As at 30 June 2008, the average salary for men in the Public Service was $65,475 and $55,407 for women (median salary was $55,317 and $48,174 respectively).

The gender pay gap 16 in the Public Service is currently 15.4%, down from 16.0% in 2007. This reflects the higher rate of increase in average salary for women at 5.4%, compared to 4.7% for men between 2007 and 2008. Table 9 shows the gender pay gap over the past six years.

Table 9. Gender pay gap, 2003 - 2008

 

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Labour Force (2008) 17

Gender Pay Gap (%)

15.8

17.0

16.4

16.1

16.0

15.4

14.9

Gender pay gaps within occupation groups are generally lower than the overall gender pay gap (refer to Table 10 below). The grouping of women into lower paid occupations (for example social, health and education workers, contact centre workers and clerical and administrative workers) has been identified as a significant contribution to the gender pay gap.

Table 10. Gender pay gaps by HRC occupation groups

 

Number of Women

Number of Men

Pay Gap

(%)

Managers

2,490

2,727

13.9

Advisors and Policy Analysts

1,929

1,587

10.2

Information Professionals

1,352

1,087

8.8

Social, Health and Education Workers

6,032

1,944

8.1

ICT Professionals and Technicians

602

1,279

7.9

Legal, HR and Finance Professionals

1,493

983

10.8

Other Professionals not elsewhere included

866

1,362

-2.7

Inspectors and Regulatory Officers

3,667

5,344

4.4

Contact Centre Workers

1,454

604

1.7

Clerical and Administrative Workers

6,976

1,655

4.1

Table 11 presents ethnic pay gaps 18 in the Public Service and provides a comparison to the wider employed labour force. Since 2003, the pay gap for Pacific peoples has fluctuated between 20% and 21%, and was 20% as at June 2008. The pay gap for Asian people has increased over the past five years from 7% in 2003 to 10% in 2008. The pay gap for has has ranged from 11% to 14% and was 12% as at 30 June 2008.

Table 11. Ethnic pay gaps, 2003-2008

 

2003

(%)

2004

(%)

2005

(%)

2006

(%)

2007

(%)

2008

(%)

Labour Force (2008) 19

(%)

13

14

13

12

11

12

17.4

Pacific peoples

21

20

21

21

20

20

22.2

Asian peoples

7

8

10

9

10

10

Not available

Superannuation

As at 30 June 2008, 58% (51% in 2007) of permanent public servants were members of an employer subsidised superannuation scheme, with 42% belonging to the State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme (SSRSS), 14% belonging to KiwiSaver, and 5% in the Government Superannuation Fund. Since last year the percentage of fixed-term public servants who were members of an employer subsidised superannuation scheme more than doubled to 37%.

The increases in superannuation scheme membership can be attributed to KiwiSaver coming into effect during the survey year. Up until 1 April 2008, most departments were exempt from automatically enrolling new employees into KiwiSaver. On 1 April 2008, the SSRSS closed to new members, and all departments were required to auto enrol new employees in KiwiSaver. Figure 3 shows the effect of these changes; the proportion of new employees making superannuation contributions during the three months to 30 June 2008 increased to 78% from 17% during the year to 30 June 2007.

Twenty seven percent of KiwiSaver members are also members of SSRSS. The availability of a 3% employer contribution for SSRSS compared with a 1% KiwiSaver contribution meant that almost all (99%) of these people received an employer contribution to SSRSS instead of their KiwiSaver scheme.

Figure 3. Percentage of new employees in KiwiSaver and SSRSS by month (year to June 2008)

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14 This represents the number of staff who received lump sum performance payments in the twelve months to 30 June 2008, divided by the number of public servants as at 30 June 2008.

15 The average payment excludes lump sum performance payments made to chief executives.

16 The gender pay gap is defined as the difference between the average salary of women and the average salary of men, and is expressed as a percentage of the average salary of men.

17 Source: New Zealand Income Survey 2008, Statistics New Zealand

18 Ethnic pay gaps are defined as the difference between the average salary for an ethnic group and the average salary of those not in that ethnic group, and is expressed as a percentage of the average salary of those not in the ethnic group.

19 Source: New Zealand Income Survey 2008, Statistics New Zealand

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