Union members at the Bureau of Meteorology plan rolling strikes at times they judge will cause the most disruption to management this week.
CPSU deputy secretary Beth Vincent-Pietsch said the industrial action would begin on Wednesday and run until Tuesday, November 21. It was “in response to management’s refusal to drop cuts to rights and conditions that other government agencies have dropped”.
She said staff had already taken about 10 weeks of action since July.
Previous rolling strike action included restrictions on answering the phone and handling media inquiries. Bureau employees continued to provide weather forecasting services.
Ms Vincent-Pietsch said in a statement, “We all want a deal by Christmas but we are not tired enough to accept something sub-standard that sends workers backwards.”
“BoM management says they’ve backed off enough ugly cuts to get this over the line. We say the core cuts left on the table are the ones that matter.
“We continue to negotiate in good faith and we’ve put viable options for settlement forward. But BoM bosses are still insisting on pushing unreasonable cuts to existing rights and conditions, and particularly targeting essential front-line staff working shifts and in remote locations.”
CPSU members will be legally protected to strike at any time between 4.30am and 7.30pm in the week.
“The simple way to end this is for the weather bureau to follow the lead set by the many other agencies that have resolved bargaining this year, including the tax office, Defence, Agriculture, CSIRO and Prime Minister and Cabinet. New deals have been voted up in these places because the bosses have recognised that retaining hard-fought rights and conditions is of critical importance to staff,” she said.
“We’ve asked the executive to use the assistance of Fair Work and they’ve said no. We’ve asked them to head back to the bargaining table and improve the offer and they’ve said no. We’ve asked them to give workers the same as other APS agencies and they’ve said no,” Ms Vincent-Pietsch said.