Courts bargaining

Today we get our first chance to say what we think of the Courts offer

Join us in voting NO so we can get back to negotiations in early July.

This offer is not fair and, more than that, it’s mean. The pay offer is half that of other agencies and many of the cuts are directly from the Courts (not the government’s policy). Across the public service, we have delivered improvements through strong NO votes and CPSU action. 

It’s worth noting that the Fair Work Act has mechanisms we can use to ensure that the Courts do not unfairly delay negotiations. 

Read why:

Each of us deserves to be treated with respect and recognised for our contributions. The Courts can and should do better. Vote NO today.

Why Athena is voting NO

I love my job and have been committed to the Courts and our clients for nearly 30 years. 

I will be voting NO as the Court offer is the worst in the public service. No one else is getting a pay offer this bad. I believe the Courts can do better. They have to do better if they value the work we do every day.

The pay offer of 1% a year is half the Government base pay offer of 2% a year (6% over three years). It’s half that again when you consider the delays.

Prospective restructures in all three Courts mean we need a guaranteed right to have a say on changes that affect our work, time for CPSU delegates to represent us on workplace issues, and redeployment rights to protect options for ongoing employment. The offer fails to do that. 

Join me in voting NO to redeployment provisions that are worse than what we have in the Family and Circuit Courts and slash retention periods by 48 to 22 weeks for my Federal Court colleagues. 

There is nothing in this agreement for any of us but cuts to our pay, rights and conditions. We are better than this and deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. 

Please join me in voting NO so that together we can get a better offer. 

Athena Sikiotis, Registrar in the Federal Circuit Court and CPSU delegate. 

Why Wayne is voting NO

I work in Melbourne and having been working across the Courts here for 12 years.

Though there are many reasons I am voting NO, there a number of salient items that reflect how the Court's administration values and respects its staff. 

For all staff, the pay offer is out of step with the cost of living and is a real pay cut for Federal Court staff. It is out of line with other agencies and, arguably, community expectations.

Also, the proposal to slash conditions is disturbing and represents a significant degradation for Federal Court staff in particular. Ideally all staff under the merged entity should retain or have the current Federal Court conditions. This, as alluded to above, truly represents the level of respect the Court has for its staff.

The reduction in conditions, along with pay offer, has been mooted as a productivity initiative. The problem is there is no real evidence (show us your maths) that these cuts will improve productivity. Productivity gains come from consulting with engaged, respected, and valued staff to review the Courts operational activities, not from cutting conditions. 

To sum up, staff of the Federal jurisdictions should vote NO until an offer truly respects and acknowledges our contribution and value, demonstrated by the retention of working conditions and a wage increase that is in-line with the cost of living and other Federal government agencies.

Wayne Sharp, Business Application Development Officer and CPSU delegate

Why Anthony is voting NO

I work in Perth and have been working here since 1995.

There are so many reasons why I will be voting NO, and why I am asking you to vote and to vote NO, to the Court's proposed enterprise agreement (EA).

Here are just a few reasons, I will be voting NO to the unfair and unreasonable offer.

  1. The salary offer is well below the 2% per annum (averaged) offered in all other APS agencies in bargaining since late 2015, does not offset the proposed increase in working hours for current Federal Court EA staff, and cuts to take-home pay for part-time staff.
  2. The Court has refused to provide any forward budgetary information to support assertions on unaffordability, despite numerous requests by the CPSU bargaining team.
  3. There is no commitment to pre-decision consultation on issues that have the potential to affect us, despite agreements in other APS agencies that do just this.
  4. Proposed cuts to flexible working arrangements particularly impact staff with caring responsibilities.
  5. There is no justification for the cuts to conditions, especially in light of such a low salary offer and other APS agencies in bargaining are taking a more reasonable approach regarding conditions.

Voting NO sends a clear message that the Courts have to try harder to achieve a more fair and reasonable agreement for ALL OF US.

Anthony Gordon, Senior Business Systems Analyst NNTT and CPSU delegate 

Still have questions?

If you still have questions about the Courts offer or are not sure what it would mean for you; please

  1. Read a summary of the offer, the cuts and the problems.
  2. Speak with one of the CPSU bargaining team - Anthony Gordon, Athena Sikiotis, Chris Cole, Kevin Jenkins, Monica Coleman or Susan Jenkins.
  3. Let me know, I will call you back. 

Thank you to those of you who have made the choice to join our union. Your decision means we have been able to lobby publicly for the work you do and we will continue to do so. If you are yet to join, I encourage you to join the only organisation advocating for the work you do every day. Join my union.

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