Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in Services Australia and the Fair Work Ombudsman will be joined by union members in parts of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry as the push an improved pay offer expands.

Once the application for a Protected Action Ballot is approved by the Fair Work Commission, On-plant Vets (OPVs) and Meat Inspectors will have the opportunity to vote on taking protected industrial action.

Union members will be voting to participate in 3 separate actions:

  • Banning overtime
  • Taking stoppages of work for up to 1 hour
  • Taking stoppages of work for up to 24 hours

All three actions are expected to have a significant impact on operations with Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. On-plant Vets and Meat Inspectors have the crucial roles of protecting food safety and enabling the certification of Australian meat and meat products for export.

The CPSU rejected the government’s revised pay offer which was a meagre 0.7% increase on its first offer of 10.5% over 3 years. Both offers have failed to garner clear support from union members.

There is broad support for the conditions package that has been negotiated, but consensus across the CPSU’s membership is that the Albanese Labor Government can and should do better on pay.

The CPSU will continue to work with members and delegates across APS workplaces as they consider which agencies to look to next to increase pressure on the government.

Quotes attributable to Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary:

“The Albanese Labor Government has the opportunity in service-wide bargaining to bring employees across the APS together after what has been a tumultuous decade for the public sector.

“This government can and should be aspiring for broad support for the whole pay and conditions package, and they are conveniently, already more than half-way there.

“The conditions that have been negotiated have broad support, but they need to do better on pay.

“CPSU members in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry are under increasing work pressures as major attraction and retention issues plague their workplaces. Every day these workers witness the need for a decent pay rise in the APS.

“There is a clear fix here for the government.

“APS employees care about the public service and about public service delivery, and that is why they are prepared to fight for better outcomes in bargaining.

Media contact: Tori McGregor 0429 000 620