Fortnight of strikes begins tomorrow in Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support

Two full weeks of strikes will begin tomorrow in Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support, as CPSU members continue pushing to end the three-year impasse over their existing workplace rights.

The CPSU has notified the Department of Human Services that union members will strike extensively from April 13th, with action notified for every business day through to April 26th.

The action will also be of longer duration than other recent strikes, with the exception of April 13th. On all other days strike action has been notified between 7am and 8.30pm.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “A full fortnight of strikes in Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support shows how frustrated these workers are. We’re talking about thousands of people with bills to pay, many of them part-time working mums on around $40,000 a year. They’re doing it really tough because they’ve gone more than three years without a pay rise as this dispute has dragged on and on and on.”

“Our team has worked tirelessly trying to negotiate through this mess with DHS management. Those talks are ongoing and are currently being overseen by the Fair Work Commission, but there’s been no movement from DHS’s bosses or in fact any sign whatsoever that they actually want to resolve this. DHS stands out as we make slow but steady progress at other Commonwealth agencies.”

“These strikes are being held at a period of high demand for DHS services, and we do expect this will cause significant disruption to the department. Our members work every day to help Australians access the essential services provided through Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support. Now they’re asking for the public’s support in resolving this dispute so this disruption can end.”

“DHS workers really aren’t asking for much. All they want to do is hold on to rights and conditions that have been in place for many years and allow them to balance their working and family lives. The department and Employment Minister Michaelia Cash appear to be continuing to ignore the unacceptable disadvantage to working parents that this dispute is really about.”

“Anyone trying to call Centrelink or get help at a Medicare office in their lunch hour can tell you that DHS is an agency in crisis. The Turnbull Government’s attacks on DHS have caused serious damage, with 36 million phone calls going unanswered last year, 5,000 permanent jobs slashed and this bargaining mess. Resolving bargaining would be an important first stepping to getting this agency back on track.”

MEDIA CONTACT: SIMON FRAZER 0409 493 290

Rolling strike timetable

Day Time
Thursday 13 April Between 12:30pm and 8:30pm
Tuesday 18 April Between 7am and 8:30pm
Wednesday 19 April Between 7am and 8:30pm
Thursday 20 April Between 7am and 8:30pm
Friday 21 April Between 7am and 8:30pm
Monday 24 April Between 7am and 8:30pm
Wednesday 26 April Between 7am and 8:30pm