Advice for Managers: Public Sector Unions’ Industrial Action – Your Rights and FAQ

The ballot results are in and alongside your CPSU colleagues, industrial action on Wednesday, 9 November from 1:30pm has been endorsed. 

We can’t wait to see you and your teams there. 

During bargaining for the last Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement, Agencies provided many of you with incorrect advice to convey to your teams, so we wanted to affirm that you have our full support and we are here to assist in answering any questions you may have about next week. 

Member Advice and Support Team 

(03) 6234 1708 – then press 1 


In 2018, the Employer advised that no employee was to utilise personal leave at the same time as the rally. This was incorrect. No blanket prohibition can ever be placed on the making of a leave application, and all personal leave applications are to be considered on a case-by-case basis with reference to the employee’s Award entitlements. We escalated this matter into the Tasmanian Industrial Commission so that Agency advice could be re-issued. 

More recently, our Anti-Discrimination jurisdiction found that Agencies had discriminated against employees taking industrial action and were required to issue an apology. 

Our advice to you is to treat this situation as business as usual. For example: 

  • If an employee applies for recreation leave, provide approval as you ordinarily would in light of reasonable operational considerations.  
  • If your team generally work flexitime without needing your agreement on each occasion, continue to apply this approach.  

We are encouraging all members to communicate respectfully with each other, their Managers and Supervisors, and their teams ahead of the day as a courtesy so that forward planning can ensure this event is a huge success. 

Many CPSU members are likely to attend the rally on their lunch break. 

Some quick facts:  

  • Employees have a right to take industrial action. 
  • Taking part in industrial activity is firmly protected under Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination legislation. 
  • It is unlawful to treat an employee unfairly or differently because they are stopping work or because they are in the union. 
  • We’re encouraging everyone to wear red on the day, or their CPSU shirts. 
  • Employees cannot be forced to take leave, TOIL or flexitime and may choose to be docked pay. 
  • CPSU Delegates have a recognised role and can attend rallies in their ordinary paid time. They can also talk to members and those yet to join the union in paid time and promote union events in the workplace. 
  • It is an Award requirement that every workplace make accessible a union noticeboard for the publishing of union materials. If you need one in your workplace, please email CPSUDirect@tas.cpsu.com.au  

Thank you again for standing with us.  

If you receive any advice from your Agency before the rally that you would like us to check or discuss further with you – don’t hesitate to contact the CPSU Office at (03) 6234 1708.

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