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Biosecurity Tas: overtime ban will continue

CPSU members at Biosecurity Tasmania will continue their ban on overtime for another week as a result of Minister Rockliff doing absolutely nothing to address their concerns.

“These workers have been telling the Minister for almost six months that they can’t continue to work excessive overtime to hold together the Biosecurity system but he has ignored their pleas,” CPSU General Secretary Tom Lynch said.

“Now we are facing the peak export and visitor season and the only option left to these dedicated workers is to ban overtime. Rather than talking to them and their union about how the issue can be addressed before bans affect our key industries the Minister has put his head in the sand,” Mr Lynch said.

Industrial action that banned overtime began on Monday November 16 and as a result Biosecurity management were required to freeze all bookings for export inspections to allow them to maintain services at the airports and undertake a large woodchip export inspection. This is contrary to the statement made by Minister Rockliff in the media on Monday 16 when he claimed ‘Export certification will continue this week, the same as it would in any other week’.

“The fact that export inspections needed to be frozen in response to an overtime ban proves there are insufficient Biosecurity staff to get the normal work done without relying on overtime,” Mr Lynch said.

Minister Rockliff needs to acknowledge he was wrong when he cut 20 frontline staff from Biosecurity and put those essential resources back in. He also needs to acknowledge that it is insulting to imply that our highly skilled and dedicated Biosecurity Officers can be replaced by untrained, unskilled casual workers placed on an employment register,” Mr Lynch said.

The action will continue until 12am on Monday 30 November at which time it will be reviewed again. The union remains available to meet with the Minister to address the concerns of Biosecurity Tasmania staff.

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