It is the job of many CPSU members to respond in times of crisis - like the bushfires ravaging parts of Tasmania.
CPSU members including those from the Department of Human Services, the Bureau of Meteorology, Telstra, FaHCSIA and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation all mobilise in times of crisis, often when their own properties are under threat or getting to work is treacherous or dangerous.
The CPSU is here for members, to provide advice and support at times like this.
I need to take emergency leave
DHS has confirmed employees do not need to take personal/annual leave if they need to respond to the bushfire emergency. Instead special or miscellaneous leave will be granted, depending on the circumstances.
Updates for other agencies/organisations will be provided here when available. In the meantime, please call our Member Service Centre (8am-8pm AEDT) for more information.
I can’t get to work
In situations of natural disaster, such as the current fires, the APSC has advised Australian Public Service agencies that:
“…in situations where an employee is prevented from attending work on the basis of a catastrophic emergency warning affecting their home or workplace or it would be too dangerous for an employee to travel to work as a result of the emergency, agencies should allow employees to access paid leave entitlements in accordance with the scale and nature of the emergency.”
For more information on APS leave entitlements during an emergency, click here.
For members working outside the APS, please contact our Member Service Centre on 1300 137 636.
Handy contacts and links
For questions about bushfire danger and closed roads call the Tasmanian fire hotline on 1800 567 567
The CPSU’s own Tasmanian Regional Director Paul Blake has spent the past few days defending his family home from the fire that started in Forcett.
While still keeping a watchful eye, he said:
“The whole of the Tassie community is doing a sensational job in volunteering, donating and lending support. One of the crisis centres asked people to stop coming in and volunteering as there was too many of them.
“A special mention should be made of ABC radio, who were sensational in keeping people updated - they really did act as the emergency network and I experienced their work very personally. Also BoM members, and DHS staff who are now coordinating the assistance packages.”
Unions Tasmania will raise money from members through workplace activities on 23 January for those affected by the fires. Talk to your delegate for details on how to get involved. A BBQ organised by the state-based branch of the CPSU will be held on Monday, January 14, at 188 Collins Street, Hobart - in the garden of what was formerly known as the Commonwealth Government building - from midday to 2pm.
To kick start the union fundraising appeal the CPSU will donate $5000 via Unions Tasmania to the Red Cross Tasmanian Bushfire Appeal. You can make a contribution to the union appeal for Red Cross by clicking here.
Share your story
If you are affected by the Tasmanian bushfires and have a story to share, please leave a comment below. If you need individual advice about work conditions during the fires, please call the Member Service Centre on 1300 137 636 (8am to 8pm AEDT).