Workers in Home Affairs are rightly focused on protecting our community from the COVID-19 pandemic. With so much critical work happening across the department, it was poor judgment by management to try to commence discussions with employees about their future terms and conditions including the key differences between a Section 24(1) Determination and an enterprise agreement.
On Monday, CPSU met with the Department of Home Affairs to ascertain their next steps and raise concerns about that the timing of this announcement.
CPSU advocated that Home Affairs slow this process down so that workers were not rushed into this important decision in the current climate and without full knowledge of the implications of both options.
Sensibly, Home Affairs have postponed their scheduled virtual roadshows given so many of you have other priorities right now.
The workplace determination nominally expires on the 8th February 2021 and we are working to ensure that workers are receiving their pay increases on time and to avoid excessive delays. However, you deserve appropriate consultation, access to your union (remotely or virtually) and a reasonable time frame to consider your options.
The department will continue to release information including fact sheets and videos online in the coming days and weeks. CPSU will propose a reasonable timeframe for consultation noting we are in an ever-changing environment and your health and safety and the health and safety of Australians must always take precedent.
For now, it’s important that you take time to understand your rights and consider what this all means for you.
Section 24(1) determinations have been applied across most major agencies in the APS after a vote of staff. Some workers have decided they want to commence bargaining and for some workers the S24(1) has been the best solution as it applies pay rises on time and maintains all conditions of employment.
In the coming weeks, you will get to decide what the best option is for you. However, we acknowledge that you are starting from a different base given the workplace determination resulted in the loss of some conditions that still apply elsewhere across the APS. It is therefore important you fully understand what this means and are given the opportunity to have a genuine and informed say.
We will be setting up meetings to talk to you all extensively about this over the coming weeks. In the meantime, some key differences between the different instruments are below.
At a glance: What’s the difference?
What’s the best way to get in touch with you in this unprecedented time? Let us know how you would like to participate and what suits you and your colleagues.
Please keep in touch and let us know if you have any questions, comments or feedback by emailing CPSUHomeAffairs@cpsu.org.au!
Brooke Muscat-Bentley and the CPSU Section Executive in Home Affairs:
Stacey Harris, Ric Selem, Glen Hyde, Amanda Kumar, Mark Fontana, Mike Suijdendorp