National

Comcare accepts new pay deal amid national industrial action campaign

Public servants at the government's insurance agency have accepted a new enterprise agreement amid a coordinated industrial action campaign across the nation.

Comcare staff have accepted a new enterprise agreement amid national industrial action.
Comcare staff have accepted a new enterprise agreement amid national industrial action.  

Comcare staff were presented with a 6 per cent pay increase over three years, with a 3 per cent increase effective immediately followed by a 2 and 1 per cent increase in following years.

Close to three quarters of the agency's staff 640 staff voted on the proposed deal, and 56.2 per cent of them voted yes and 43.8 per cent voted no.

"The agreement will now be lodged with the Fair Work Commission and come into effect seven days after it is ratified," a Comcare spokesman said.

An agency spokesman insisted no staff entitlements had been removed.

The vote came on the same day staff at 13 federal departments and agencies walked off the job for 24-hours as part of a rolling campaign designed to break a two-year deadlock on pay and entitlement negotiations.

On Thursday, Department of Immigration and Border Protection staff will begin industrial action at international airports across Australia. Agriculture staffers will also withdraw their labour at airports.

Comcare employees about 416 staff in Canberra, 150 in Melbourne and 76 spread across Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide and Perth.

Last financial year, the proportion of women in leadership positions at the agency fell by 16 per cent from 31 employees to 25. Overall staff levels fell by 3 per cent while the average age of staff increased to 41.

Correction: The breakdown of pay increases in an early version of this story was incorrect. The correct numbers are now included.

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