Monday, September 26, 2016


SEP 25, 2016

Department of Immigration and Border Protection staff at sights including international airports, cruise ship terminals and cargo facilities will commence two weeks of protected industrial action from midnight tonight with further action planned as required to resolve the three year old bargaining impasse.

The CPSU has notified two weeks of rolling stoppages across the country from 26 September to 9 October with strikes in 30 minute blocks available to CPSU members all day, every day. Strikes may occur at any airport, cruise ship terminal or cargo facility at any time during the day or night.

This constitutes the most intense and widespread strike action undertaken by CPSU members and applies throughout all DIBP operations. Multiple short strikes are expected to cause disruption and delays to passengers, cargo freight operations and other services.

More than 50 exemptions remain in place to ensure national security and the safety of the general public during all industrial action.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said that taking this level of  protected industrial action was necessary because it was the only way workers had to force the Turnbull Government and the Department to find a real solution, not just keep proposing stripping away workers’ rights, conditions and pay.

“Our overwhelming preference remains to sit down and find a fair and sensible resolution but the Turnbull Government has shown it is unwilling to do so” she said.

"Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has allowed Minister Michaelia Cash to  continue the public sector workplace relations war started by Eric Abetz three years ago for far too long.

“The Government is using nasty 'starve them out' tactics refusing to talk and keeping these workers on a three year pay freeze.

“For almost three years all Immigration and Border Force staff have seen is proposals to cut their existing rights and conditions and even cut some officers current take home pay.

“DIBP staff are highly trained, committed and hard working. Fair wages and conditions for the people who protect our borders and keep all Australians safe is not too much to ask.”

More than 80 per cent of DIBP staff voted in March against an agreement which would have seen rights and conditions stripped away in exchange for a pay rise of just one per cent per year.

The Tourism and Transport Forum has backed calls for the Turnbull Government to sit down and negotiate a resolution with the CPSU to end the dispute and ensure travellers are not disrupted.

Ms Flood said that the CPSU was always willing to talk but ready to argue for termination of the bargaining process should the Commonwealth apply to have industrial action suspended in the Fair Work Commission.

“We’re doing this because these workers and their families need a resolution.” she said.

“The Government has a choice, either sit down and talk or let Fair Work sort it out. If we do end up back in Fair Work this week we will argue it's time to end this bargaining charade and let the independent umpire arbitrate an outcome,” said Ms Flood.

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