Fair Work Ombudsman to join APS industrial action

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) will be expanding APS industrial action after having an application for a Protected Action Ballot in the Fair Work Ombudsman approved by the Fair Work Commission.

The Protected Action Ballot will give union members in the Fair Work Ombudsman the opportunity to vote on taking protected industrial action, including work restrictions, stoppages, and strike action. Union members are then able to take those actions as they push the Albanese Labor Government to improve the current pay offer.

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

  • An unlimited number of stoppages of work for periods of up to and including 1 hour.
  • An unlimited number of stoppages of work for periods of more than 1 hour and up to and including 24 hours.
  • An unlimited number of actions in the form of including an authorised CPSU statement in email signatures.

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 a variety of APS workplaces as they consider which agencies to look to next to increase pressure on the government. As they are identified, applications for Protected Action Ballots will be lodged with the Fair Work Commission.

Quotes attributable to Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary:

“The Albanese Labor Government made a commitment to the public service prior to their election to become a model employer and to rebuild the APS after a decade of damage and destruction.

“The CPSU intends on holding them to that commitment.

“Union members in Services Australia and the Fair Work Ombudsman will not be the only APS employees participating in industrial action. It is a list that will grow as needed and we will be lodging further applications for Protected Action Ballots this week.

“We have a unique opportunity with service-wide bargaining to negotiate a package that brings together a fragmented and disparate APS. But an offer with 51 per cent support doesn’t do that.

“The CPSU has rejected this offer because we know that we can and we should be aiming higher than 50 per cent, plus one. And so should the government.

“There is strong support for the conditions package that has been negotiated, but in order to move forward the Albanese Labor Government needs to improve its pay offer.

Media contact: Tori McGregor 0429 000 620