Tax Office week of woe continues with 71% No vote

Australian Taxation Office staff have voted 71% No to a proposed enterprise agreement, adding to the agency’s problems on top of this week’s critical systems failure.

The ballot is the third deal rejected by ATO staff, following a 71.5% No vote in May and 85% in December last year. Staff participation remained high for the vote at 83%.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood: “We’ve had double confirmation this week of the real damage the Turnbull Government has done to the Tax Office, first with what was an unprecedented failure of the agency’s critical systems and now with yet another enterprise agreement No vote.”

“The Turnbull Government has made illogical and short-sighted cuts to Tax, making it easier for multinational companies and wealthy individuals to dodge paying their fair share and clearly also undermining the integrity of the systems underpinning the agency.”

“Today’s No vote also reconfirms the Government’s harsh public sector bargaining policy is doing real damage, to Tax staff and tens of thousands of other Commonwealth workers. The ATO is just the latest major agency where agreements have now been rejected three times, following recent third strikes in Human Services, Defence and Immigration and Border Force.”

“This clear rejection by ATO staff shows they cannot and will not accept an offer that strips away essential workplace rights and conditions, despite heading towards their third Christmas without a pay rise. The Turnbull Government’s strategy of starving out public sector workers isn’t resolving bargaining but it is having a terrible and unfair impact on hardworking staff and their families.”

“The Tax Office is one of many Commonwealth agencies that have tried to rush through new agreements before Christmas. The deals offered for the vast majority of those workers have been rejected, reconfirming the Senate inquiry’s recent findings about why this bargaining mess has stretched for three years and why there’s no end in sight.”