CPSU: MP Sharon Claydon talking to staff outside the Commonwealth Law Courts in Bolton St. Workers walked off the job for half an hour over fair pay and conditions. Picture: Simone De PeakNewcastle’s Federal Court staff stopped work on Wednesday, in protectedindustrial action seeking more money and better conditions.
Staff walked off the job for the first time in decades, after69 per centof workers rejectedthe most recent enterprise agreement.
Outside theCommonwealth Law Courts in Bolton Street head organiser for the courts for the Community and Public Sector Union, Bronwyn Parris, said the strong rejection vote was a huge achievement.
“It has forced the courts into conciliation and that is a huge achievement, “ she said.
“We are hopeful now, with the assistance of the Fair Work Commission, we can move toward a fairer settlement.”
According to the CPSUthe current offer fails to deliver equity across the courts and cuts existing rights and conditions.
Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon, whohas backed the CPSU,attended the strike in Newcastle on Wednesday.
Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members met with Federal Member for Newcastle @SharonClaydon outside the Commonwealth Law Courts to outline the conditions that have led to them taking strike action for the first time in decades. pic.twitter成都夜总会招聘/eFxvO62b5D
— Newcastle Herald (@newcastleherald) November 29, 2017
“These workers have been pushed to the brink,” she said.
“They haven’t had a pay rise in four years and were recently asked to accept a pitiful one per cent increase and cuts to their working conditions.
“The fact that this workforce, which hasn’t taken industrial action in 25 years, is now being forced to strike shows just how serious the situation is.”
CPSU Deputy National President Rupert Evans said previous industrial action had alreadycaused significant disruption in the courts, with registries closed and hearings adjourned as a result of our members striking.
“It’s well and truly past time for the bosses to wake up to reality and work with us on a just outcome,” he said.
“The Federal Courts is one of very few agencies where bargaining remains in such a frustrating deadlock.
“We’re calling for Attorney-General George Brandis to step in and advise courts management to follow the lead set by other Commonwealth agencies that have successfully brokered agreements after belatedly recognising that retaining existing rights and conditions is the key to settlement.”
A spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney-General said “the federal courts are responsible for their own operation and management, including in relation to enterprise bargaining matters and therefore it would not be appropriate to comment.”