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APS bargaining update – January 2015


THE FEDERAL Government’s agenda for the Australian Public Service is clear: it directly attacks workers’ rights. These public sector workers work in areas like Customs, CSIRO, our Defence Force, the Australian Taxation Office and vital services like Centrelink and Medicare, which we all know are experiencing huge cuts to staffing. They work to provide services Australians rely on each day, but they’re over worked and systems and services are cut to breaking point. However, the government is looking to:

• reduce leave entitlements

• increase working hours

• reduce job security and redundancy rights

• make very low pay offers with many strings attached

• use ‘streamlining’ to remove and reduce rights and entitlements

• remove guaranteed super contribution rates from agreements

What are they doing?

With the help of the CPSU, Members are working together to stand up for their rights they’re otherwise set to lose, with:

• 15,000 Department of Human Services members and 700 members in Veterans’ Affairs taking industrial action

• 95% of Education staff voting against an agreement that cut conditions and reduced pay

• More than 2000 CPSU Members rallying in Canberra to protest the government’s unfair approach to bargaining.

These union members have many battles ahead but they enjoyed a win to start off the year, defeating a proposal to increase working hours. After the Queensland election result the CPSU’s National Secretary Nadine Flood called on the Abbott government to stop slashing Commonwealth public sector jobs. “People want a Government that can come up with a plan to create jobs,” Ms Flood said. “All the Abbott Government can do to ‘fix’ its budget is to slash more public service jobs. Cutting those jobs hits services, as well as the families that depend on those jobs for their livelihoods.”

This is an example of why workers must stand united as members of a union to fight for their, and future generations’, rights and conditions. We’ll keep you updated on union matters in the Australian Public Service, where it’s set to be a busy year.

Source: CPSU

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