Australia : Immigration and Border Force dispute takes a turn for the worse
The CPSU says the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s treatment of its staff and the Government's bargaining approach has sunk to a new low with the agency’s latest proposed enterprise
The recently tabled offer retains the unacceptable cuts to essential rights, conditions and allowances that Immigration and Border Force workers have been fighting for nearly three years while reducing the pay offer from 6% to 4.7% total.
The department's offer cuts the pay rise on offer for thousands of staff who have been on a wage freeze since 2013, justifying this with a modest increase for some ex-Immigration staff who need to move towards pay parity with ex-Customs staff. CPSU supports pay parity but not at the expense of some staff still facing actual cuts to their current take-home pay while others will get just 4.7% total from 2014 to 2019, or less than 1% per year.
CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “This latest offer from Immigration and Border Force shows the department and Government is making absolutely no effort to respond to the very real concerns of our members, in fact quite the opposite. This offer is worse for thousands of staff than the one they overwhelmingly rejected six months ago, still stripping away the rights and conditions of all staff while cutting take-home pay for some.
“The Department and Government's strategy, if there is one, is mystifying given 81% of staff voted No to the previous offer. They have achieved the near impossible by further stoking the anger of staff, already frustrated that Government can't sort this dispute out after more than 1000 days. As a result our members are now planning to get the Government's attention, following up on August’s 24-hour strike at international airports and other sites.”
“We are continuing with our multi-pronged strategy to push the Government to resolve this protracted dispute for Immigration and Border Force officers and the more than 100,000 people across the Commonwealth public sector who do not have new agreements.”
“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister Michaelia Cash continue to sit on their hands despite over 74,000 public sector workers having voted against their proposed agreements this year alone, with over 168,000 voting no since this dispute began. Minister Cash marked day 1000 of this dispute by getting Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd to ring me and let me know the Government would not consider any post-election changes to their policy and would not meet.
“We will see further strike action this Friday by thousands of staff across agencies including Medicare, Centrelink, Child Support, the Tax Office, Defence, Agriculture and Water Resources and Prime Minister and Cabinet, with more action in Immigration and Border Protection to follow.”
“These people are trying to support their families without a pay rise for three years and struggling to hold onto basic workplace rights and conditions, particularly family-friendly rights that let them do their job while dropping their kids off at school or day-care. They’re willing to endorse a sensible solution but see nothing to gain in giving up those rights for 1% a year under the Turnbull Government’s unreasonable and unworkable public sector bargaining policy.”