This time last year CPSU members in the Australian Public Service (APS) were facing an enormous bargaining challenge.
Through our Better Way to Bargain initiative we had built strong support for a service-wide campaign for better pay and conditions. Next we needed to find a way to deliver that for 160,000 APS workers in 4,000 workplaces, during a period of political and economic uncertainty.
We knew that delivering the fair outcomes our members deserved would require new ways for members and delegates to work together across agencies. We also knew we had to expand the union's capacity to campaign.
Looking back 12 months later, what we achieved together is quite extraordinary. We have:
taken on the negative industrial strategies of the Federal Government and the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) - and turned them on their head
enabled 120,000 employees to reject sub-standard agreements
empowered our delegates to lead the campaign and our union in their workplace and the opportunity to contribute in other agencies, while giving our members more say and involvement
given thousands of employees who are eligible to vote for protected industrial action the confidence to do so
lead a high profile media and public campaign.
As we head towards settlement in many areas, it is clear there has been movement on key service wide-issues including:
securing pay rises of up to 11% for the majority of APS employees
moving towards pay equity, with 4000 Human Services staff the latest to benefit
repelling the APSC's agenda of widespread cuts to employment conditions
securing improved conditions in some agencies, eg, paid maternity leave, super on unpaid maternity leave
locking in 15.4% superannuation
securing delegates' rights in our agreements until at least 30 June 2014
delivering a new, service-wide redeployment mechanism
In 2012, we'll take our new capacity and turn it to running strong campaigns on the issues that matter most to our members. So as the year winds down, here is the latest bargaining news from across the APS and beyond.
Department of Human Services (DHS)
STOP PRESS: DHS staff have strongly endorsed the latest agreement. There was a 70% voter turnout with 81% voting in favour. More details shortly.
CPSU members are opposing attempts by Defence to push through a substandard offer before Christmas. Read more here.
Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)
A long and sometimes heated campaign has delivered a decent outcome and protected conditions for BoM staff, with 91% of staff recently voting to accept management latest offer. More here.
After 10 months of negotiations and campaigning 74% of Customs staff voted to accept the proposed agreement. Read more.
Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)
After 10 months of negotiations and campaigning 90% of DAFF staff have voted to support the proposed agreement. Read more here.
Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA)
Following a round of tough negotiations that improved management’s initial offer, a majority of staff have voted in favour of the proposed DVA agreement. Read more here.
Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)
DEEWR staff have spoken… with a strong majority rejecting management’s proposed agreement. Close to 76% of staff took part in the ballot with 58.8% voting no. The CPSU bargaining team is in talks with management and is keen to recommence bargaining early in the new year.
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
Following its certification a few weeks ago, the new ATO agreement is now in force. All CPSU members have been asked to provide feedback on the bargaining process. The confidential and anonymous survey can be accessed here.
Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)
With the new AEC enterprise agreement in place, it’s now time to get to know the changed provisions and their effect on you. Learn more here.
There has been a strong response from members to our survey on management’s initial offer. In particular, members have deep concerns about planned cuts to personal carers leave (from 20 days to 18 days), the lack of back-pay to compensate for a delayed start and the size of the pay rise.
Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal
The current MRT/RRT agreement expired two weeks ago and members are stepping up their campaign for a better deal. Last week 93% of members endorsed the unions call for a No vote. Key issues include cuts to conditions such as personal leave and increased working hours. Read more here.
Two agreements went through for ABS staff, one for interviewers and one for office staff. The interviewer agreement delivered some good improvements. The office agreement also delivered, but not until staff were polled by a private company brought in by management to learn what everyone knew - that management's offer just wasn't good enough. Read more here.
Australian Human Rights Commission
The AHRC bargaining team has made fantastic progress at in strengthening the agreement and maintaining conditions. We are currently wrapping up the consideration period with voting opening Monday, December 19. Members hope to have a new agreement in place for Christmas.
NON-APS BARGAINING UPDATES
ACT Public Service
CPSU members are pushing the Government to ensure their long-awaited pay rise comes through before the holiday break. Read more here.
A SBS new agreement came into force on 6 December delivering a 3% pay increase for all staff. Additional increases will also be available through career performance appraisal. Learn more.
Defence Housing Authority (DHA)
DHA commenced an all staff ballot on a new agreement on 13 December. The CPSU is recommending that all employees vote NO and bring DHA back to the bargaining table. Read more here.