The scientists who work around the clock operating Australia's tsunami early warning system say their wages are about to be slashed in the latest stage of the public service cost-cutting drive.
The specialists at the Australian Tsunami Warning Centre in Canberra will demonstrate on Wednesday at moves to cut the rates they are paid to work their 12.5 hour shifts on a 24-hour, seven-day roster.
A group of eight seismologists from Geoscience Australia work around the clock at the centre to monitor for earthquakes in Australia and elsewhere around the world.
They determine if the earthquake will result in damaging impact and tsunamis and sound vital warnings to the Australian community and the region.
The public servants' union, the CPSU, say its members have been seeking a new enterprise agreement since December 2013.
But the latest offer from Geoscience management includes cuts to penalty rates that could result in these workers losing about $4500 a year on average from their take home pay.
The scientists work alone for 12.5 hour shifts and have been been paid penalty rates of 30 per cent for night shifts and 15 per cent for other shifts. The union says its members are angry at moves by Geosciences to cut those rates to 20 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.
Geoscience Australia has been contacted for comment.
More to come.