11 May 2024

AFP pay negotiations turn nasty after claims of insulting and misleading offer

| Andrew McLaughlin
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AFP officer

AFPA secretary Alex Caruana has encouraged its members to continue to take protected industrial action where they can. Photo: ACT Policing.

The Australian Federal Police Association (AFPA) has accused the AFP of sending an email to its members with a revised offer that contains “misleading and insulting” details.

In a memo to all AFPA members on 10 May, union secretary Alex Caruana was responding to an email from the AFP titled ”Enterprise Agreement – An update on drafting and superannuation changes”, which was sent out on Thursday afternoon.

“This message will be blunt and to the point,” Mr Caruana said. “The details in the AFP’s email are blatantly misleading and insulting, and they are most definitely not in the scope of good faith bargaining.”

Mr Caruana said the revised offer of 29.6 per cent conveyed false hope to members that they would be significantly better off under the new enterprise agreement. He said that figure was heavily based on band progression, a Use of Force allowance, and working unsocial hours.

He said few members would be able to realise that benefit, as most would already be benefitting from these natural incremental progressions. He said a member told him that at their level of Band 5.3, they would be only 14 per cent better off, mostly because of the Use of Force allowance, which had been one of the union’s demands.

READ ALSO AFP union recommends members vote ‘No’ to latest enterprise agreement offer

Mr Caruana said the AFP was attempting to undermine the process and force a ‘’Yes’’ vote from members without providing all of the information required to allow informed decisions.

“Members do not even have a copy of the proposed EA, which would allow them to do their own fact-finding and give them the opportunity to separate the truths and mistruths,” he said.

“The AFP is spruiking a pay offer almost double the previous agreement. For clarity, the previous agreement was 2 per cent per year pay raises, so the base was extremely low to begin with.

“Moving to around 4 per cent per year is hardly a reason to celebrate, especially when inflation, mortgage rates and the cost of living are much higher today when compared to the last agreement period.

“Offering a one-off cash payment, now with back pay (this is the first time we have heard about back pay), to impose their will on the membership is insulting.

READ ALSO Budget to boost free TAFE and RTO construction worker training places

“Remember, the Air Services Aviation firefighters got a $6000 one-off payment, and the best the AFP and government are willing to offer you is a paltry $871.

“The AFPA will continue to urge you to vote ‘No’. We believe you deserve better. You deserve better from the AFP, and you deserve better from the government.

“Please continue to undertake protected industrial action (PIA) where you can.

“Wear your wristband and lanyard, do not fill out vehicle logbooks, put up posters (remember to time record), and if ‘the job’ asks you to volunteer for duties outside of your core responsibilities, say ‘no’ unless you are going to be remunerated for this extra work.”

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