Strikes forecast for Weather Bureau in fight for fair deal

Unlike other agencies, Bureau of Meteorology management are refusing to work with the CPSU and drop cuts to rights and conditions in their new agreement. So members are fighting back with a round of rolling strikes and bans. 

CPSU members in the Bureau of Meteorology will launch a three-week campaign of industrial action on Thursday in their fight to secure a fair enterprise agreement.

The action will include rolling strikes and restrictions on handling media inquiries, though the CPSU has taken steps to ensure the Bureau can continue to provide critical forecasting services.

CPSU Deputy Secretary Beth Vincent-Pietsch said: “Bureau of Meteorology staff have been forced into this situation by their bosses, who continue to push harsh and unreasonable cuts to rights and conditions. Disturbingly, management have particularly targeted people on the frontline working shifts and in remote locations.”

“BOM staff have gone well over three years without a pay rise as this dispute has dragged on through no fault of their own. Despite such a long fight they’ve made it clear that what management’s pushing is unacceptable by voting twice to reject unacceptable enterprise agreement proposals, most recently in May with a 58% No vote.”

“The industrial action beginning on Thursday will include rolling strikes, with CPSU members able to strike at times of their choosing within morning and afternoon windows. There will also be a range of work bans, including on answering phones and dealing with media inquiries.”

“It’s important to emphasise that the target of this industrial action is BOM management rather than the general public, and that the CPSU has taken extensive steps to ensure strike and other action does not impact on critical forecasting services.”

“This situation in BOM stands in stark contrast to that in many other Commonwealth agencies, with enterprise agreements voted up in recent months in major agencies including Defence, Agriculture, the Tax Office, CSIRO and Prime Minister and Cabinet. BOM needs to follow the lead set by these others and recognise that protecting existing rights and conditions is a key concern for staff.”

CPSU members in BOM will be legally protected to strike within set windows:

July 20 to July 26              7am-10:30am and 4pm-7pm

July 27 to August 9          7am-10:30am and 3pm-6:30pm