Bargaining stuff-up by National Capital Authority strands staff

The National Capital Authority (NCA) has ended more than five months of inaction over its enterprise bargaining blunders, belatedly following the CPSU’s advice and re-starting the entire process.

A technical error made by NCA management at the beginning of bargaining means an agreement that was reluctantly voted up by staff in mid-May cannot proceed.

The ballot resulted in a yes vote of just under 54% and a participation rate of 80%. NCA had hoped that new bargaining legislation would save it the embarrassment of a fresh vote, but has finally conceded the bill does not have enough parliamentary support.  

CPSU Deputy Secretary Beth Vincent-Pietsch said: “This is a disgracefully unfair outcome for National Capital Authority staff. It’s now highly likely they’re heading into their fourth Christmas without a pay rise, simply because of the incompetence of their bosses. This is a damning indictment of this agency and the Turnbull Government’s disastrous approach to public sector bargaining.”

“NCA management waited years to even make an offer to staff. We warned them about their error that led to this mess but were ignored. To make matters ever worse, management have sat on their hands for five long months when they should have been acting decisively to fix this situation.”

“The now defunct NCA agreement was far from a good deal for staff, which is reflected in how narrowly it was voted up, but the fact remains that people voted in good faith on the basis they’d receive a pay rise in May and they’re still waiting for their money.”

“NCA staff should not be disadvantaged any further by this debacle. We’ll be arguing forcefully when we return to the bargaining table that staff should be financially compensated for this mess. This situation has caused considerable damage to the trust between staff at NCA and their bosses.”

“This situation could so easily have been avoided, as was shown by the National Film and Sound Archive’s response to an almost identical problem. In contrast to NCA, the NFSA listened to the CPSU’s advice and were able to quickly rectify their mistake. As a result their agreement and pay rise were quickly finalised.”