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Department of Immigration and Border Protection wants to cut 'remote allowance' and leave, but increase time at work: CPSU


Phillip Thomson

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection wants to make staff work another 30 minutes a week as well as reduce leave, allowances and shift arrangements, according to the biggest union representing federal public servants.

After a month of bargaining, the Community and Public Sector Union has told members via a bulletin that the department had still not outlined its full position on wages and conditions during negotiations.

The union said the department wanted to increase the working week to 38 hours, remove the explicit right to negotiate shift rosters, reduce the paid parental-carers leave entitlement from 18 days to 15 days, and remove escort duty and uniform allowances.

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The union said the department also wanted to remove the remote localities allowances in Darwin and Cairns for new employees, and "grandfather" the allowances for existing employees.

"Over the next two weeks, the CPSU will be holding a series of lunchtime meetings and delegate discussions with DIBP staff, to seek your views and those of your colleagues on DIBP's cuts," the union told members in its bulletin.

Union deputy secretary Rupert Evans said Immigration was the latest in a growing number of agencies "imposing the government’s radical bargaining policy".

"We have seen it with DHS [the Department of Human Services] and we expect to see it with Defence, where legally enforceable rights are being stripped out of the agreement and turned into policy, which can be changed whenever management likes or government directs," he said.

"Essentially, the government is saying ‘trust us’ but Immigration workers aren’t stupid and they will see it for what it is – a bad deal.

“There’s a whole laundry list of hard-earned rights and conditions that Immigration staff – the majority of whom are women – will have to give up under these proposals.

"What we haven’t seen here is what workers are going to get in return for a cut to their conditions and rights – a pay offer. Judging on the DHS and leaked Defence plans, staff are likely to go backwards in pay."

8 comments so far

  • Given current standards in travel and communications, Darwin and Cairns can't be considered "Remote Locations". Therefore this sounds like a good idea.

    Date and time
    August 02, 2014, 7:57AM
    • Pay should be performance based and from what i've experienced with government departments, not one agency can claim to be performance based, instead they take their time and figure out new ways to screw over the public who they are servants of. Yes, you heard that right, they are public servants and they are to serve the public, not their own little anti-liberal, union dominated, fantasy worlds. Funny how you don't hear a peep out of these guys when Labor does the same measures. On a per capita basis compared to the rest of the world, Australian public servants are one of the highest paid with "benefits" not seen anywhere else. When you see senior public servants on more than most presidents and prime ministers around the world you know something is very wrong. Time for the public service to get with reality and stop wasting taxpayers money with never ending pay rises and ridiculous "allowances".

      Date and time
      August 02, 2014, 8:15AM
      • All it will take is one dept, probably a smaller one, to fold and it's all over red rover. As someone who voted against agency bargaining - how's it working for you? You've been divided so now it's going to be a huge fight not to be conquered by this miserable government. I'm watching with fingers crossed for you. I hope you can get back to being one APS with a single set of conditions.

        Date and time
        August 02, 2014, 9:11AM
        • @Arbee, sorry too late for it to happen - a single set of conditions. It would mean that the higher paid agencies would need to wait for the lower paid to catch up. We almost have the situation now where an APS 6 can be paid more than an EL 1 in a different agency - for much the same work and experience.

          Been there
          Date and time
          August 04, 2014, 9:26AM
      • My experience at DIBP is that roughly 50% of the staff there are incompetent, lazy and employed or promoted to roles they have little skill and experience in - the 'seat warming' effect.
        Unprofessional behaviour (Senate Estimates would have a field day if they saw the half of it) and laziness is rife , just check the carpark at 3pm on a Friday - most of them have left.
        The poor behaviour and incompetence is led, and allowed to fester, by the management - EL2 and SES
        As a colleague said to me not long after my arrival "You don't need to do much around here to shine."
        About time DIBP staff pulled up their socks and did a decent whole days work, like the rest of us. If it's productivity the Dept heads want, I'd start by walking half of them out the door and re-hiring.

        Date and time
        August 02, 2014, 9:43AM
        • Anyone else get the feeling the push is about "One APS", that is an attempt to get all APS working under the same conditions for the same award rates? Personally I am all for it, someone at Centrelink should not earn less than someone of the same rank in PM&C.

          Date and time
          August 02, 2014, 11:03AM
          • This is what happens when "yes men/women" get promoted.

            vote for pedro
            Date and time
            August 02, 2014, 3:02PM
            • What is Tony and Co going to do when the entire Public Service goes on strike and/or work to rule over this bastardry?

              The time has come for all public servants to fight back and refuse each and every one of these one sided "negotiations".

              Date and time
              August 02, 2014, 4:03PM

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