Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Minister for Employment, Liberal Senator Michaelia Cash, is learning the hard way that Australians expect the boss to act fairly

As a recognised bargaining representative of the Turnbull Government, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Minister for Employment, Liberal Senator Michaelia Cash is once more before the Australian Fair Work Commission.

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), media release, 17 August 2016:


The CPSU has taken Employment Minister Michaelia Cash to the Fair Work Commission over her failure to engage in good faith around enterprise agreements for Commonwealth public sector workers.

The case is based on Minister Cash’s refusal to deal constructively with the CPSU, including refusing to discuss or properly consider the union’s fair and reasonable proposals to settle bargaining across multiple Commonwealth agencies.

Action in Fair Work is part of the union’s multi-pronged plan to make the Turnbull Government fix its public sector bargaining mess; the strategy also includes industrial action at international airports and elsewhere, community campaigning targeted in marginal electorates and repeated efforts to engage directly with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister Cash.

CPSU National President Alistair Waters said: “Minister Michaelia Cash is responsible for setting and implementing the Turnbull Government’s harsh and unworkable approach to public sector bargaining. We’re taking her to Fair Work to hold her and the Turnbull Government accountable for this debacle that’s unfairly attacked workers for nearly three years.”

“Minister Cash hasn’t just refused to meet with the CPSU, she has also publicly misrepresented our position on numerous occasions and otherwise tried to undermine our attempts to help her fix the Turnbull Government’s bargaining mess. Our members have shown a willingness to compromise but Minister Cash’s responses have been consistently toxic and unfair.”

“There’s a bitter irony that we’ve had to take Minister Cash to the Fair Work Commission to get her to fulfil even her most basic obligations. This is the person who as Employment Minister is responsible for the Fair Work Act she’s flouting by actively undermining bargaining.”

“Public sector workers have fought for nearly three years to protect their existing rights against this Government’s bargaining attacks and they are determined to secure a fair and reasonable outcome. The only way for this protracted dispute to end is for the Turnbull Government to realise that its attempts to force workers to give up family friendly rights and other conditions have failed, and instead engage with us on a sensible alternative.”

“Our action in the Fair Work Commission is just one part of a much broader strategy to pressure Prime Minister Turnbull and Minister Cash to fix their bargaining debacle. We’re also planning further industrial action in the wake of last week’s Immigration and Border Force strike at international airports and elsewhere and continuing with our community campaigning in marginal electorates.”

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