27 September 2023

Union welcomes election promises

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The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has welcomed a commitment from the Federal Opposition to “fix” bargaining, insecure work and workplace relations in the Australian Public Service (APS), should it be successful in the Federal Election.

In a statement, the CPSU said its members had worked tirelessly to make the case about why APS jobs mattered and how critical they were to communities.

“Labor’s policy sets the bar for the coming Federal election with a very different approach to the current Government, when it comes to the workplace issues that play a huge part in our lives,” the CPSU said.

It said Labor had committed to bargaining for real wage increases; allowing enhancements to conditions in bargaining; scrapping arbitrary staffing caps; and that backpay would no longer be prohibited.

The Union said the party had also committed to increasing the number of direct permanent APS jobs; conducting an insecure work audit, including converting labour hire, casual and contract roles into ongoing APS jobs; and stopping the “waste and reliance on consultants”.

“On the key issue of bargaining and delivering real wage increases to APS employees, the new Statement makes a number of important commitments,” the CPSU said.

It said Labor would ditch the private sector wage price index cap, allow negotiations on date of effect of pay rises and back pay, and enable parties to bargain for new and improved conditions by scraping the no enhancements rule.

It said the fragmentation of pay and conditions across the APS would also be reduced with Labor making a commitment to genuine service wide negotiations with Agency specific conditions negotiated at the Agency level.

“This announcement means you now have a rare window into just what your working life would look like if there was a change in government, compared to under the current Coalition government,” it said.

The Opposition’s plan to improve the Public Service can be accessed at the Labor Party’s website at this PS News link.

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