Bureau outlook stormy as staff step up industrial action

CPSU members at the Bureau of Meteorology have been ramping up industrial action.

Recently, for the second time, Bureau staff sent management a clear message with a convincing “no” vote on their latest Enterprise Agreement (EA) offer.

It’s now been about three years since our current EA expired and almost four years since staff have had a pay rise.

The government’s restrictive public sector “bargaining framework” has now been relaxed, and as a result more and more agencies have finalised new agreements.

The stunning exception to this trend is Bureau Management who are still trying to strip rights from the agreement and put them into unenforceable policy.

Management’s are proposing cuts to shift work penalties, remote locality allowances, and travel entitlements in exchange for a measly pay rise. Any staff who depend on these entitlements have effectively been offered no pay rise when the loss of conditions are taken into account. Some staff are also concerned that relocation entitlements are going to be stripped from the agreement.
Bureau staff have been taking back to back half-hour rolling stoppages of up to 3.5 hours across the country, along with stop work demonstrations outside offices.

Work bans and actions are also being imposed, such as attempting to read out statements over the radio (before being cut off by the presenter), and not responding to non-Severe Weather inquiries.

There are positive indications that industrial action is putting much more pressure on this time.

Management are scrambling to find replacements, and to try and take control of the radio broadcasts. Some work is also going out later than scheduled as an unavoidable consequence of being down at times to a skeletal staff.

Management has finally agreed to re-examine the cuts to conditions, but as yet have made no concessions.

The union has extended industrial action until 23 August, and plans to keep up the pressure until they shift.

By a CPSU member

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