The main public sector union and public service Minister Michaelia Cash have held peace talks aimed at breaking the wages stalemate between the federal government and much of its workforce.
Senator Cash sat down with Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Nadine Flood in Melbourne on Tuesday breaking nearly two years of frosty silence between the two sides.
Little progress appear to have been made, with the union tight-lipped on what was said between the two women, but the Ms Flood said it was positive that the government was willing to talk.
"We will not be providing a running commentary on a dialogue with Government," the union leader said.
"We are hoping that Government is able to consider the concerns of public sector employees and agencies and make sensible changes to their existing policy.
"But I guess after 18 months, it's positive that they're willing to talk,"
Ms Flood indicated that she would be keen to catch up with the minister again.
"We're seeking an ongoing dialogue with government to resolve this as quickly and effectively as possible," Ms Flood said.
The pay dispute across the 152,000-strong public service is locked in stalemate, with tens of thousands of workers in large departments having rejected deals offered to them under the Coalition's tough bargaining framework.
But departmental bosses say they have no room within the framework to make better offers and the resulting industrial action has already seen disruption by officials at the nation's air and sea ports as well as Centrelink offices and other government installations.
Another important ballot gets underway on Monday as more than 2000 public servants at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's department cast their votes on a proposal that has departmental management and the union so at odds they cannot even agree on the numbers in the offer.
Senator Cash's office has been contacted for comment.
Ms Flood is adamant that progress cannot be made without changes to the government's public sector bargaining policy.
"CPSU is urging that Government move quickly towards a sensible resolution that allows agencies and employees to reach fair, reasonable and realistic agreements," she said.
"Of course, as a democratic, representative organisation, our union's decisions are made through engaging with and reporting back to our elected structures, delegates and members about their concerns and possible solutions."