IMPORTANT NEWS: DIBP has just confirmed two weeks of rolling strikes to start on Monday
Members of the Community Public Sector Union who are employed by the Department of Immigration & Border Protection are about to start two weeks of strikes.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection advises that the coming two weeks of strikes will affect the aviation, international mail, maritime and trade domains.
Action begins on Monday 26 September and will end on Sunday 2 October.
Industrial action will take the form of rolling 30 minute strikes “all day, every day. The CPSU expects multiple short strikes to cause significant disruption and delays,” the union states.
The basis of the current disputes is over the DIBP’s enterprise bargaining which has, according to the union, run now for over 1,000 days. The union is concerned that the deal on offer is worse than the existing agreement.
“CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “CPSU members are doubling down on industrial action in order to send a clear message to the Turnbull Government that they have to do something to end this 1000 day dispute.”
“CPSU members would prefer not to have to strike, but the Government has failed to listen to its own staff who have told them time and time again that they won’t agree to key rights and conditions being stripped away,” said Ms Flood.
“The Government’s attack on rights and conditions has now dragged on for over 1030 days, with 74,000 workers voting to reject the Government’s unacceptable offers in 2016 alone. In March this year, over 80 per cent of immigration and Border Force officers voted to reject an offer which would have stripped key rights and conditions, made life harder for families and provided a pay rise of just one per cent per year.
“Prime Minister and Minister Cash should act so we can start to fix this mess. They have a clear choice: they can sit down with us and try to resolve the dispute in good faith or they can exercise their rights through the Fair Work Commission. If the Government tries again to have our industrial action suspended by the Fair Work Commission, we will argue it’s time to terminate this bargaining charade and have the independent umpire arbitrate an outcome.”
The strikes were originally due to last one week but the CPSU has now extended it to two weeks.
Meanwhile the DIBP is warning of extensive delays.
The Department also released the following statement:
“The Department is disappointed that this comes in the same week that the CPSU is at the bargaining table with Departmental representatives, seeking to develop a new Enterprise Agreement. This proposed strike action flies in the face of this bargaining process and represents an unreasonable and unwarranted escalation at a time the Department is looking to find consensus.
“The design of this action is such that it is likely to create unreasonable levels of disruption and uncertainty across critical functions of the Department and will most likely limit the Australian Border Force’s ability to mitigate threats and risks at the border. The planned strike action will serve only to disadvantage CPSU members, who have already lost in excess of $2 million in salary deductions as a result of participation in strike action.
“The CPSU’s claim that the Department is offering a pay increase of 4.7 per cent, fails to acknowledge that the current offer represents pay increases of between 6.4 and 10.7 per cent for the majority of staff across the Department.”