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Government seeks to intimidate its workers and unlawfully restrict union members and officials

IN A serious development it’s become clear the government is intent on trying to starve state sector workers of information on their proposed industrial legislation and intimidate employees into not attending union meetings or the budget rallies.

On Tuesday afternoon it came to your CPSU’s attention that at least one government agency was given central government advice and had distributed this to employees. The advice is a fiction and doesn’t reflect normal practice or the legal realities. We later discovered the advice was distributed to all agencies and more was coming.

See a breakdown of the exact words provided to all agencies below.

Govt intimidation of workers – Aug 21 2014

The left column is the verbatim email and the right is your CPSU’s response. Please distribute as you see fit.

It’s clear the intention is to scare people into not attending meetings and the rally nearest them. By threatening to dock peoples’ pay and take names the government has resorted to intimidating and bullying its own staff to avoid people becoming informed on its legislative agenda.

To try to deny workers the right to use meeting rooms to discuss union issues affecting their working lives clearly contravenes the awards. Your CPSU spoke the media about this today. See the media release below.

MR – Government Acting Unlawfully in Extraordinary Attempt to Bully and Threaten Public Sector Workers – 21 August 2014

“Public sector unions are the only source of accurate information on the government’s agenda for workers”, CPSU Acting General Secretary Mat Johnston said. “It is undeniable that this government is trying to restrict the ability of their employees to become educated about the extreme industrial changes it wants to make. By seeking to deny the CPSU access to worksites to communicate with Members, the government is choosing to ignore well established practices and legal rights included in both the Act and the Awards.

“Clearly the government has absolutely no respect for its employees, it’s not even communicating with them on what would be the most drastic shift in employment law in this state any of us can remember”, Mr Johnston said. “The Premier must immediately clarify if the government intends to pursue tactics of intimidation through unlawful threats issued to staff to prevent them from attending workplace meetings and talking freely with their union.

“Earlier today Members reported to me they were asked to tell their manager where they were going to lunch next Thursday – not when but where. Clearly this is totally inappropriate and designed to intimidate people into not attending the rally with implicit threats of repercussions against them”, Mr Johnston said. “Some people chose not to attend the meeting I held this morning because they were fearful of adverse actions against them.”

The government has flagged more instructions will be directed to agencies in the near future that cover right of entry (already dealt with in the Act and Regulations), “normal” membership meetings (whatever that means), industrial action and attendance at meetings.

“It’s very likely the government will continue to actively put obstacles in the way of its employees becoming informed and participating in lunchtime events”, Mr Johnston said. “While the last government didn’t like us protesting, it always recognised the rights of workers to participate if they chose to and facilitated attendance within operational parameters. What we see today is completely different and well beyond what’s legal or reasonable.”

Please report anything you consider to be threatening, intimidating or inappropriately restricting your personal choice to attend meetings or the rally to your local CPSU Delegate, your CPSU Organiser or the office on either 6234 1708 or at cpsu@tas.cpsu.com.au.

Do not be intimidated by these bully-boy tactics – you have rights and your CPSU will stand with you and your colleagues to enforce them.

 

 

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