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

CPSU members have endorsed taking industrial action. Together we will stop work and attend rallies across lutruwita (Tasmania) on Wednesday, 9 November from 1:30pm. 

CPSU members can choose to stop work for the period of the rally or for the remainder of the day. If you want to join with your colleagues next week but are not yet a union member, you can sign up online before the rally starts at https://www.cpsu.com.au/join/ 

Below we’ve answered Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about stopping work. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: Do I have a right to take industrial action? 

A: Yes. Stopping work and withdrawing your labour is an internationally recognised human right. In Tasmania, taking part in industrial activity is firmly protected under Anti-Discrimination legislation and it is unlawful for your Employer to treat you unfairly or differently because of industrial action or because you are a member of the union. 

Q: I am stopping work, do I need to let my Manager/Supervisor know?  

A: Your Employer will be advised about the industrial activity. While there is no requirement to advise your Manager/Supervisor, as a courtesy we strongly encourage you to have a conversation ahead of time and see if they’ll be attending with you too – we’re all in this together and it’s important to work together with your Manager/Supervisor so they can plan ahead. 

Q: What should I wear on the day? 

A: We are encouraging all members to wear red on the day, or CPSU clothing. Don’t forget your CPSU pins, stickers, or bring along your own sign. 

Q: I am not rostered to work on 9 November, what do I do to show support? 

A: Come to the statewide rallies (bring your family if you have caring responsibilities on the day). Whether you’re working or not, the best way to show support for your colleagues and stand up for what matters is by turning up. If you are unable to make it, contact the CPSU to share a message of support, or take a photo with our poster to show your colleagues you are with them and voted for action. 

Q: Will I be docked pay? 

A:  There are a lot of options for CPSU members taking action next week to ensure you are not docked pay. Instead of being docked pay you can utilise: 

  • Your Lunch Break (the rally is perfectly timed for this). 
  • Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) that you have banked as a result of working overtime; 
  • Approved paid leave such as a recreation leave; or 
  • Flexitime (taken as you ordinary would for any activity). 

Remember, it’s your choice whether you attend at 1:30pm or whether you take the whole afternoon off work.  

Q: If I am docked pay, how much time will be docked? 
A: If you are docked pay, it will only be for anytime you are expected to be at work but are not undertaking your duties. We encourage everyone taking action to keep a personal record of time not worked and follow up to ensure their pay checks are correct.  

Q: Can my Employer force me to take leave? 

A: No. The taking of annual leave under your Award is by mutual agreement. You cannot be forced to make a recreation leave application.  

Q: I am a CPSU Delegate, do I need to arrange flexitime, TOIL or leave? 

A: No. CPSU Delegates are entitled in their Awards to reasonable paid time to attend union events including rallies. We advise Delegates to let your Manager/Supervisor know that you will be absent from the workplace as a courtesy. Delegates are not required to take leave, rather they are entitled to be paid as though you were continuing to perform your work duties. 

Q: Can my Employer stop me from taking action?  

A: No, union members have a right to take industrial action. 

Q: I won’t be able to leave work, how can I show my support? 

A: We’d love to have your support and you can be as creative as you like – whether you want to send in a message of support from you and your team, or finding time to stop work together at your worksite and take a photo for us to share. 

Q: I have more questions about stopping work, who can I talk to? 

A: CPSU Direct on 6234 1708 and CPSUDirect@tas.cpsu.com.au, or your Workplace Delegate and CPSU Organiser. 

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