Immigration and Border Force ground deal with 81% No vote

Workers in the Department of Immigration and Border Protection have again rejected the Government’s flawed public sector bargaining policy, with 80.9% voting No to an agreement that would have cut their rights, conditions and take-home pay.

The ballot of DIBP staff including Border Force officers closed at midnight, with 11,201 people or 81.2% of the department casting a vote.

The result has been released as Immigration and Border Force staff prepare for a 24-hour strike at international airports, ports and other sites on Easter Thursday, and the possibility of a three-week campaign of rolling stoppages starting on Easter Tuesday.

It is the second time that workers in the agency have rejected an agreement framed under the Government’s harsh bargaining policy, with staff voting 91% No in September last year.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “An 81% No vote from the Immigration and Border Protection workers who keep Australia safe is another stinging rebuke of the Government’s unworkable and unreasonable approach to  public sector bargaining.”

“This strong No vote is no surprise, given the dodgy agreement that DIBP management had put on the table. These workers are ordinary mums and dads, yet they still face losing rights and conditions that allow them to balance long and irregular hours with their family commitments, and some still face having their take-home pay cut.”

“This result shows how deeply dissatisfied these workers remain and why they’re preparing to continue their campaign of strike action over Easter to pressure the Government to engage meaningfully on changing the bargaining policy to allow fair and reasonable outcomes.”

“It’s still not too late for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister Michaelia Cash to heed the clear message that’s been sent by DIBP workers and staff who’ve voted No in other agencies including Human Services, the Tax Office and Defence.”

“These strikes will only proceed if the Prime Minister refuses to sit down and talk with us to fix the Government’s bargaining policy mess so that departments can offer their staff fair and reasonable agreements that safeguard rights and conditions while offering a reasonable pay offer of around 2.5% to 3%.”