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IP Australia votes down enterprise agreement

IP Australia staff have voted against their latest enterprise agreement offer as the tit-for-tat industrial war in the public service continues.

Seventy per cent of people who took part in the ballot voted "no" at the workplace known for its funky office layout and, in particular, its Lego wall to boost staff morale.

The Community and Public Sector Union said the agency had become the first during the 18-month industrial dispute to reject an offer twice.

The outcome was only marginally better for management this time around. The vote recorded against the previous offer was 73 per cent.

IP Australia had lifted its pay rise offer from 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent a year.


Going into the vote, it was expected IP Australia's cost recovery model might have given employees more confidence in asking for a better deal.

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said the vote sent Michaelia Cash, the prime minister's assistant minister on the public service, a strong message it was time "for her to stop throwing rocks and actually talk to us about fixing this mess".

"This strong 'no' vote shows IP Australia staff have barely shifted in their conviction that this offer isn't good enough," Ms Flood said.

"IP Australia is one of more than 20 agencies where the government is trying to ram through agreements in a rush of ballots in the lead up to Christmas.

"Massive resources are being poured into strong-arming workers to try to make them accept having their rights stripped, but our members know the only way to get a decent deal is to keep voting 'no' until the government changes course."

IP Australia director-general Patricia Kelly said she was disappointed the agency could not reach an agreement with staff.

"We will be working with staff on a revised offer in the new year," she said.

Meanwhile, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources staff were voting on their agreement in a ballot closing Wednesday.

Again the CPSU was advising members to vote "no' to what it called a "substandard" offer.

"The pay offer of 2 per cent a year with no back-pay does not compensate for these cuts," a union statement said.

"When agreement delays are factored in the real pay offer is a paltry 1.3 per cent."

An Agriculture spokesperson said back pay could not be negotiated under the government's bargaining policy.


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