Pay rise hypocrisy in DIBP as Fair Work fight continues

The CPSU has condemned the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) for giving senior executives a second pay rise in eight months, as the union continues to fight in the Fair Work Commission to end the four-year pay freeze still hurting frontline staff.

DIBP Secretary Mike Pezzullo has granted an immediate 2% pay rise to all SES staff. Executives also received a 2% increase in November last year, bringing to 4% the pay rises they have received in the past eight months.

SES staff will retain all their existing workplace rights and conditions, as they did with the November pay rise, in contrast to the bitter fight for a new general staff agreement that is currently being arbitrated by the Fair Work Commission.

CPSU Deputy National President Rupert Evans said: “DIBP bosses have delivered another slap in the face to staff working in Immigration and Border Force. The department has spent literally years trying to strip rights, conditions and take-home pay from frontline workers, yet are free-and-easy when it comes to paying those at the top.”

“That’s why we’re fighting so hard in the Fair Work Commission in a major arbitration case. DIBP’s army of lawyers are continuing as we speak to argue that staff should be stripped of rights and conditions, and that even the measliest of pay rises is unaffordable. The hypocrisy here has to be seen to be believed.”

“These two no-strings attached pay rises – 4% in eight months – clearly show there’s one set of rules for senior executives and another set for staff working on average or below average wages while struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments and living costs. It’s the kind of decision that explains why inequality is on the rise.”

“Secretary Mike Pezzullo’s email to advise senior executives of their good fortune says they deserve a pay rise for the department’s achievements – such as issuing millions of visas and seizing drugs, guns and other contraband – yet the people who’ve actually carried out this work continue to get nothing.”

“This frustrating and unfair situation in DIBP is in marked contrast to the bargaining progress that’s been made in the rest of the Commonwealth public sector in 2017, as bosses have recognised that retaining existing rights and conditions is the key issue for their staff. As a result new agreements have finally been voted up in major agencies such as the Tax Office and Defence.”