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Issue #1718      February 10, 2016

Happy No Year

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) campaign to secure new agreements that protect rights and conditions and deliver fair pay is kicking off in 2016 with a series of high profile NO votes in a range of agencies including DHS (Department of Human Services); the Bureau of Meteorology; Employment; and the Australian Electoral Commission. More major agencies are flagging agreement votes including Defence and Immigration and Border Protection.

Family issues front and centre in DHS

DHS workers started voting on February 5 on another dud deal that seeks to cut many important rights, particularly those rights that help parents juggle their work and family responsibilities. Conditions at risk include genuine negotiation on hours of work and rosters, flexible working arrangements, part-time work arrangements and more.

As one member put it, “I can’t renegotiate the hours of the childcare centre. I have to pick my kids up at 3pm because no one else will.” In a CPSU pre-vote poll, 88% of respondents said they’d reject the deal.

Safeguarding jobs, rights and pay

Members’ support for industrial action, NO votes and other campaigning action has delivered real progress in the Safeguard campaign, despite the challenges they faced in 2015.

While the government stepped up its harsh rhetoric and used dodgy tactics such as standing down Border Force workers without pay for imposing work-bans, there have been shifts in their position on key issues like superannuation, productivity, pay and some conditions.

With more action and commitment from members in 2016, we are determined to get the Turnbull government to move further and finally fix this bargaining mess.

Fighting for rights

The union says public sector staff right across the service understand the importance of workplace rights. They value rights that give staff a say on changes in the workplace, the hours you work, part-time arrangements, work-life balance and on performance assessments. These rights are the cornerstone of a professional and healthy workplace where staff are respected for the work they do.

Big NO from Tax workers

In late December, while most public sector workers were winding down for the holidays, CPSU members and supporters in the Tax Office delivered a massive blow to the government’s failed bargaining agenda with an 85% NO vote. This outcome was yet another demonstration of the clear need for the Turnbull government to drop its attack on rights and conditions and take-home pay.

Next article – Strike on airbases

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