Australia : Our plan to fix the Govt's bargaining mess
Our plan to fix the Government's bargaining mess
Following the strong swing against the Government at the election, CPSU delegates are rolling out a multi-faceted plan to resolve bargaining and
Background: Because of the Government’s harsh and unworkable bargaining policy around 75% of Commonwealth public servants still do not have a new agreement and haven’t had a pay rise in more than two years.
Time to talk: Before the Federal Election Employment Minister Michaelia Cash and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would not agree to meet with us and explore a sensible resolution to their bargaining mess.
Time to listen and act: The strong swing against the Turnbull Government at the Federal Election and community concerns on issues such as outsourcing Medicare payments, CSIRO jobs and workplace rights means it should change its approach and start listening, including to their own staff on Commonwealth bargaining.
Your support has delivered results: While there is still a way to go, it is important to note that your strong support for the Safeguard campaign so far has helped secure some significant bargaining wins like getting many proposed conditions cuts taken off the table and positive moves on leave, hours, pay and superannuation.
Keeping the pressure on: Over the next few months we will be turning up pressure on the Government and agencies to try and win gains on outstanding issues which include protecting existing conditions and rights, together with securing a pay outcome that recognises members have endured a long pay freeze. We know rights like work and family conditions, protection of hours, Domestic Violence Leave and the right to representation matter to members.
Right now we are stepping up the pressure on the Government by a four-pronged approach:
- Reaching out directly to the Prime Minister: We have asked him to work with us to sensibly resolve this dispute.
- Member pressure: Members will be taking strategic, well-supported industrial action and voting NO to bad agreements. This will start with a strike on 12 August in DIBP and stopwork meetings in DAWR including at Airports. DHS members will also hold rolling stop-work meetings and more agencies will be taking strike action in coming weeks. Agency updates are coming your way.
- Political pressure and lobbying: Organising members and delegates to lobby Senators and MPs in marginal seats, many of which have just become marginal through your campaigning. We’ll be taking your concerns to the Parliament when they commence sitting at the end of August.
- Fair Work disputes: Using action in the Fair Work Commission to hold Employment Minister Cash to account as a bargaining representative.
Holding the Minister to account
Last week the CPSU wrote to a range of agencies and the Employment Minister Michaelia Cash outlining our concerns about her failure to meet her obligation to bargain in good faith and the similar failure of agencies. This includes the Minister refusing to meet with the CPSU, misrepresenting the union’s position and engaging in capricious conduct that undermines collective bargaining. The Minister’s actions are crucial given her responsibility and authority in the conduct of Commonwealth bargaining by agencies. If the Minister does not address our concerns we will take the matter to the Fair Work Commission. This action is not a "silver bullet" and will not resolve bargaining in 60 agencies or shift Government policy on its own. But it is an important part of our multi-faceted strategy. Along with NO votes, industrial action and political campaigning, it will put pressure on the Government and agencies to offer agreements members can finally support.
What you can do
- Show your support: Visit www.proudtobepublic.org.au/about
- Get organised: Encourage your workmates to join the union