The year under review is the first full year of the Tribunal’s operations (having been established only a matter of weeks before the end of the last financial year). It has also been a very testing year for Victorians firstly with the summer bushfires and then COVID-19 from March this year. These tragic events have formed the backdrop against which the Tribunal has gone about its work and in some respects have shaped it.
The Tribunal has been very mindful of the burden, including loss of income, felt by many Victorians over this time.
However, a wage setting body cannot succeed unless it has the respect (it will never have the love) of the people affected by its decisions. The Tribunal recognises that we are not just producing a set of abstract numbers. What we do has an impact on the livelihood of every parliamentarian and on all of those who work in the senior echelons of the public sector as well as on the broader economy.
Thus, in making its determinations, issuing its guidelines and providing advice on remuneration matters for Members of the Parliament of Victoria and executives of the Victorian public sector, the Tribunal has been concerned to achieve an appropriate balance between prevailing economic conditions and trends, community standards and expectations and the principle of fair and reasonable recompense for work performed. We believe that through robust and independent analysis that balance has been struck and is reflected throughout the Tribunal’s work over the course of the year.
In addition to our formal determinations, guidelines and advice, the Tribunal has invested heavily in establishing systems and processes to streamline its operations and encourage participation by those who have an interest in the Tribunal’s work. This has included publishing the determinations and associated submissions on the Tribunal’s website consistent with the transparency and openness expected of an independent statutory tribunal.
The Tribunal’s work has been greatly assisted by the contributions of many through submissions, consultative forums and responses to questionnaires.
Over the coming year we will continue to build a remuneration system for parliamentarians, executives in the public sector and, if asked, elected local government officials which meets both the objectives of the Tribunal’s enabling legislation and the trust that has been placed in it by the Parliament and the Government of Victoria.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the exemplary work of the Tribunal’s Secretariat in supporting the Tribunal in every aspect of its work.
On behalf of Tribunal members, it is my pleasure to submit this report to you.
Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal
Reviewed 27 January 2021