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Issue #1746      August 31, 2016

Strike action Sept 9

CPSU statement

As part of our multi-pronged plan to resolve the government’s long running Commonwealth bargaining mess, a 24 hour strike has been called for Friday September 9 starting at midnight Thursday and running until midnight on Friday.

As a Community and Public Sector Union member you can help make this action as effective as it can be by encouraging people in your agency to join the union and support the action.

With the government having just ruled out any changes to its deeply flawed bargaining policy – leaving agencies unable to improve bad offers – now is the time to send a loud and clear message. Strong support for this action will back in our other strategies to shift the government. These are outlined below.

Agencies involved in this round of strikes include: DHS, ATO, Defence, DAWR, PM&C, Environment, BoM, NLA, CDPP, AAT, DPS, IP Australia and others to be confirmed. More information will follow shortly.

Background

Because of the government’s harsh and unworkable bargaining policy around 75 percent of Commonwealth public servants still do not have a new agreement and haven’t had a pay rise in more than two years. It is worth noting that politicians and senior management have received pay rises during this time.

The week before last, Immigration and Border Force members took high profile 24 hour strike action.

Last week we launched Fair Work action against Employment Minister Michaelia Cash over her failure to bargain in good faith.

Right now, DHS members are holding one hour stop-work meetings and planning is underway in many agencies for a 24 hour strike on September 9.

And when parliament resumes, CPSU members will be out in force lobbying pollies.

Keeping the pressure on

Over the next few months we will be turning up the pressure to try and resolve outstanding issues which include protecting existing conditions and rights and securing a pay outcome that recognises members have endured a long pay freeze. We know members care deeply about rights like work and family conditions, protection of hours, Domestic Violence Leave and the right to representation.

Right now we are stepping up the pressure on the government with a four-pronged approach:

  • Reaching out directly to the Prime Minister: We have asked him to work with us to sensibly resolve this dispute.
  • Member pressure: Members will be taking strategic, well-supported industrial action and voting NO to bad agreements. Agency updates are coming your way.
  • Political pressure and lobbying: Organising members and delegates to lobby Senators and MPs in marginal seats, many of which have just become marginal through your campaigning. We’ll be taking your concerns to the Parliament when they commence sitting at the end of August.
  • Fair Work disputes: Using action in the Fair Work Commission to hold Employment Minister Cash to account as a bargaining representative.

Time to listen and act

The strong swing against the Turnbull government at the federal election and community concerns on issues such as outsourcing Medicare payments, CSIRO jobs and workplace rights means they should change their approach and start listening, including to their own staff on Commonwealth bargaining.

While there is still a way to go, it is important to note that your strong support for the Safeguard campaign so far has helped secure some significant bargaining wins like getting many proposed conditions cuts taken off the table and positive moves on leave, hours, pay and superannuation. Every time we take action, the list of cuts gets shorter.

Next article – Time to close abusive detention regime

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