Sarah*, a CPSU member in Services Australia Tasmania, was working part-time hours as a casual employee. When an opportunity came up to apply for permanent APS3 jobs, Sarah jumped at the chance.

After initial concerns about whether she could take on a role with part-time hours, recruitment emailed to confirm that all positions were part-time negotiable (subject to business line needs).

However, after Sarah successfully secured the permanent job, the local manager rejected her part-time request. She was also told that going back to her casual position was not an option.

With two young children under school age, full time working hours were not an option, so Sarah got in touch with her CPSU delegate.

Sarah said, "I understood that under the agreement, I had a right to part time hours until my kids reached school age."

With the help of her CPSU representatives, Sarah requested a review of the decision to refuse her part-time request.

Initially, national management agreed that the role could not be performed part-time, but Sarah and her CPSU representatives kept up the pressure to find a solution that would allow Sarah to take the permanent job she was so keen to get.

As the dispute progressed, the CPSU assisted Sarah to find ways to allow her to balance the needs of her family, including securing agreement from the Dpartment to allow her to take leave on the days she could not secure child care for her kids.

It was a stressful three months for Sarah and her family.

When an expression of interest came out for APS4 roles, Sarah asked whether those roles could accommodate part-time hours and if she could apply for a promotion to the higher level and a role that would allow her to work her part-time hours.

Sarah has now secured an APS4 position and an agreement to accommodate her part-time hours.

* Name has been changed to protect privacy. Stock image used.