WORKERS’ RIGHTS: About 200 disgruntled workers from the Department of Human Services express grievances over proposed cuts to conditions and rights.
WORKERS’ RIGHTS: About 200 disgruntled workers from the Department of Human Services express grievances over proposed cuts to conditions and rights. Gemima Harvey

Government workers protest cuts

ABOUT 200 disgruntled workers from the Department of Human Services gathered to express grievances over proposed cuts to conditions and rights.

The Coffs Harbour stop-work meeting outside Gateway House was one of several that took place across Australia highlighting "growing anger about the Abbott Government attacks on pub

lic service workplace rights and employment conditions".

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) coordinated the industrial action that is designed to safeguard services.

It involved Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support staff.

CPSU deputy national president Lisa Newman led the local protest, where union members voted on a series of motions.

The resolutions revolve around rejecting the "Government's agenda of cuts to conditions, the removal of workplace rights, including the right to representation and to have a say, and very low pay offers".

More specifically, workers voted on whether to reject agreements that "cut entitlements such as leave and family-friendly conditions, increase working hours and slow down pay advancement''.

Ms Newman said agencies were proposing cuts to terms and conditions that would remove 60% of rights from workplace agreements in return for a 3.25% pay increase over three years.

"The Government is cutting everything back, taking workplace standards back to the barest minimum," Ms Newman said.

"The proposed cuts would remove the terms and conditions that have taken years to win.

"It's nothing more than a snatch and grab."

Depending on the Government's response and whether it is willing to negotiate and shift its position, the CPSU will take further industrial actions.



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