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

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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."