Union officials and the department in charge of supporting Parliament House have clashed over a meeting scheduled for staff amid a number of serious allegations arising in recent weeks.
During a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday evening, Labor senator Don Farrell told the committee he had received reports the public sector union had been barred from accessing employees with the Department of Parliamentary Services.
"[DPS staff have] approached the union, they want a meeting tomorrow to discuss what's going on, which I would have thought in the circumstances ... is a perfectly reasonable proposition," Senator Farrell said on Tuesday.
"I've been advised that the department has refused the right of entry for those union officials to conduct those meetings."
He asked Finance Minister Simon Birmingham if he could direct staff to resolve the issue, or make appropriate arrangements to pass on the message to the relevant presiding officers.
Within 30 minutes of asking the question, Senator Birmingham said the issue had been resolved but clarified the union had never been denied entry.
"I'm pleased to make clear that the allegations that Senator Farrell made, that there was a denial, were not accurate on the advice that I'm provided," he later said upon receiving advice from Senate President Scott Ryan.
Senator Birmingham said the department had instead asked the union to consider the most appropriate venue for the meeting. It was later offered a theatre within the venue, he said.
The Community and Public Sector Union's national secretary Melissa Donnelly said the union was looking forward to meeting with affected members within the Parliament House venue on Wednesday evening.
"The last few weeks have been incredibly hard for our members who work in Parliament House," Ms Donnelly said.
"Much have been written about them, with little thought given to their voice. There has been further serious workplace incidents revealed this week, the CPSU will be meeting with its Parliament House members again [this evening] to discuss their right to a safe and respectful workplace.
"Members are glad that a location and entry have now been granted by DPS after some initial issues. We hope that managers allow their workers to meet with their delegates and union in what is a very troubling time."
It found more than half - 54 per cent - of the more than 50 staff surveyed felt there bullying and inappropriate behaviour had been on the rise.
The respondents also held concerns of the increasing workload amid budget cuts.
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