ABS update

Solidarity with our Melbourne and Victorian comrades

CPSU members are thinking of Victorians at this tough and scary time, particularly those of you in Melbourne under Stage 4 restrictions.

We are doing what we can to support local delegates and members, but please remember to look out for each other and contact us if you need any assistance.

Geelong ATO win - 121 jobs saved!

Thanks to all ABS members and delegates who got on board the campaign to save the jobs of their Geelong ATO comrades. CPSU members lobbied federal, state and local government representatives and launched a petition that attracted a lot of support.

This week we got the news that the government have reversed their decision and the office will not close. This is a huge win that shows what we can do when we work together.

Thank you to all of you who participated.

Working from the office

All offices (excluding Victoria) are in Stage 2 of the ABS return to the office plan. Members in some sites have raised concerns about lack of space between desks and how social distancing will work in practice when more people are back in the office.

Please have a word to your local delegate or organiser if you have any concerns about this.

In Victoria, the Melbourne office is closed and is only open to work in by appointment if you do not have capability to work from home. Due to Stage 4 restrictions this means if you can work from home, you should do so.

Some staff are working on site in Dandenong and Geelong as their duties demand it and a small number of workers are attending Geelong voluntarily. Workers are being provided with masks and we understand physical distancing is being adhered to.

If you work in the Dandenong office and have any concerns then just contact Josiah Miller, Kyle McLean or Suwan Adamson.

Childcare Permits for those working from home

There was some confusion and stress for members last week about the ability for ABS staff working from home being able to be issued childcare permits in Victoria.

ABS have now confirmed that workers that are working from home but cannot care for their child/children and there is no-one available to do so can request a childcare permit. ABS have confirmed that up to thirty workers have had their childcare permits approved.

Please let Kyle Mclean, Josiah Miller or one of your local delegate team know if you are having trouble getting a permit approved and they will escalate the matter.

Flexible Working Pilot

ABS have formed a working group looking at flexible work and the effects of working from home, the hours of work, working outside the bandwidth and working compressed weeks.

Formal consultation on possible changes to these policies will commence early in 2021, but ABS will be running focus groups and developing case studies in the meantime. We encourage members to participate in these.

Members have told us that the current policy that limits working from home to two days a week is not flexible enough for a post covid world and workers have shown they can be just as productive if not more so when they are working from home. We will be talking to members about what they would like in any new policy and in the meantime speak to your local delegate about any ideas you have.

Dandenong changes

The research about options for the workforce in Dandenong has been put on hold due to the resources ABS management have had to put into the Stage 4 lockdown. ABS will be running virtual drop in sessions for Dandenong workers next week.

If you have any questions or concerns just let Kyle McLean on Suwan Adamson know.

Proud to be Public Campaign - sign up for one of our member meetings next week

Your CPSU delegate team will be holding member meetings next week for all ABS members nationally to talk about our Proud to be Public campaign and how you can be involved.

The campaign is aimed at promoting the public sector as the foundation of the community and the net that binds our community together. Your CPSU representatives will be involved in direct lobbying of politicians of all parties to highlight the important work you are doing and steering government to use APS jobs as a driver of economic recovery.

In these meetings we are keen to hear from you about what agencies could do if they had all the resources that needed.

  1. Date: Wednesday, 26th August Time: 2.30pm AEST, 2.00pm ACST, 12.00pm AWST
  2. Date: Thursday, 27th August Time 12.00pm AEST, 11.30am ACST, 10.00am AWST

Meetings will run for thirty minutes. Click on your preferred date to register.