In a designated Border Force Officer position?

Three things you need to know

  1. The Department has sent correspondence to all staff proposed to occupy designated Border Force Officer positions
  2. Consultation has belatedly commenced with staff and your union; and
  3. For affected staff questions about medical requirements, unsuitability and redeployment/redundancy remain so if you are not yet a CPSU member, join today to be represented and kept updated.

On Monday, 5th of March 2018, nearly three years since the creation of DIBP, employees proposed to occupy Border Force Officer designated positions in the ABF received letters advising them of their proposed status.

At the same time, a range of draft policy documents was released for a four week consultation period, covering such topics as:

For many employees, this process won’t mean a great change to their employment status or working conditions other than the postings model.  However, for some (like staff designated in BFO positions previously employed in the immigration side of the Department or staff previously in the ABF, not in a proposed designated position) the changes can be significant and CPSU delegates and organisers are getting lots of questions.

The best way to ensure you are kept updated, supported and represented through this process is to JOIN CPSU TODAY.

Key information has not yet been provided

Your union representatives have met with the department following the issuing of letters to employees and has requested the complete list of proposed BFO positions be provided and made available to all staff on the intranet. We are still waiting!

We have also been told that two critical Work Health and Safety Risk assessment s are being conducted. One of these is specific to the issue of threats to BFO officer safety and the other a broader WHS risk assessment. 

The department has however been willing to meet regularly with your union representatives and the next meeting is scheduled for Friday 24 March.

A number of reoccurring questions

More detail is being sought on issues such as:

  • How will the redeployment process work if I don’t want to be in a BFO position?
  • What happens if I don’t want to be a BFO and refuse to take the oath?
  • What about if I don’t want to be a BFO because of the posting obligations and its potential impact on my family?
  • What is my process if I believe my position/job has been incorrectly designated?
  • What happens if I don’t pass the medical? How much time/support will be provided? If I can’t pass what preference will I be given for jobs in the Department?
  • What will happen if the department privatises visa processing and there are no jobs left to be redeployed to?
  • What is happening with the Medical Employment Classification project and how might these outcomes impact?
  • My team has a group of staff doing the same role and some have been designated BFOs and others not – how was this decided?

Some answers

Some general answers to the above questions have been given but much more detail is still needed. For example, employees are advised to speak to your supervisor/commander if you believe your position has been incorrectly designated and if still unsatisfied raise it with the ABF Alignment taskforce. CPSU members should consider being represented by a Workplace Delegate in any such discussions.

We have also been given a general undertaking that staff who won’t/can’t move into a BFO designated position will be redeployed but very little detail on how this will occur and no information as to what the department proposes should redeployment prove impossible.

Join your union!

The CPSU’s representation of members issues through this process is just one of many reasons why ABF/Home Affairs staff should be members. If you are not already a member join today at cpsu.org.au.