Courts staff again reject dud deal and launch more rolling strikes

Federal Courts staff have once again emphatically rejected a deeply flawed enterprise agreement proposal, and will now launch further strike action in their fight for a fair deal.

The ballot resulted in a 69% No vote, with 83% of eligible staff participating from the Federal, Family and Federal Circuit Courts and the National Native Title Tribunal. They will all be covered by a single Federal Courts agreement because of a merger in the middle of last year.

It is the second emphatic rejection during this protracted round of bargaining, following a 90% No vote in June.

Federal Courts management have been advised that CPSU members will resume strikes and other industrial action in the wake of the ballot result from Monday next week, November 27th.

CPSU Deputy National President Rupert Evans said: “This second emphatic No vote shows Federal Courts staff are never going to accept an agreement that strips away critical workplace rights and conditions. That determination will also be on display from Monday when CPSU members go back on strike.”

“This situation is completely unjust to Courts staff, who have gone well over four years without a pay rise and yet are still facing unfair cuts to their workplace rights and conditions. That’s on top of the recent mergers, job losses and even more disruptive changes they know are coming.”

“These are people who had never taken strike action before this dispute, which underlines how bad this situation is. It’s a tribute to our members’ resolve that Courts management have belatedly agreed to conciliation through Fair Work in the wake of this ballot result. But that doesn’t change the fact that this isn’t going to be resolved until the cuts to existing rights and conditions come off the table.”

“Previous industrial action has caused significant disruption in the Courts, with registries closed and hearings adjourned as a result of our members striking. It’s well and truly past time for the bosses to wake up to reality and work with us on a just outcome.”

“The Federal Courts is one of very few agencies where bargaining remains in such a frustrating deadlock. We’re calling for Attorney-General George Brandis to step in and advise Courts management to follow the lead set by other Commonwealth agencies that have successfully brokered agreements after belatedly recognising that retaining existing rights and conditions is the key to settlement.”