DHS workers planning mass lunch date as protest

by Chloe Taylor16 Feb 2015
Thousands of public servants at the Commonwealth’s largest department aim to force their bosses to negotiate with them – by staging a mass lunch break.

The Canberra Times reported that officials at the Department of Human Services (DHS) claim their bosses show no intention of holding wage talks, and are planning to protest by taking co-ordinated lunch breaks on Thursday at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.

Around 14,000 union members are also reportedly planning to set their email accounts to auto-reply, which will send responses with a message authorised by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) backing their workplace claims.

The department’s management confirmed last week that it had been purposely excluded from the invitation with general manager of communication Hank Jongen saying that he was completely unaware of the mass lunch date plans.

“We are yet to receive formal notice of the proposed industrial action,” he said.

This comes as Australian Taxation Office workers are being subjected to job cuts and “harsh terms”.

DHS’s 35,000 workers have reportedly been waiting since the middle of last year for the department to make them a pay offer.

“All union members will be asked to take co-ordinated lunch breaks at midday, 1pm and 3pm,” read a bulletin sent out to CPSU members. “All members will be asked to put in place an automated email response to all internal emails received on the day that will include a campaign and join message.”

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Public sector staff cuts exact mental health toll


  • by Bhavna Patel 16/02/2015 12:29:54 PM

    This resembles a high level of maturity. Granted I don't know the full details of the wage negotiations...but in the private sector, when you ask for a pay rise (as I did), and the employer says no, you just get on with it (as I did, or find a new job.
    If you believe your self worth is more than what you are being rewarded, go where it is recognized.

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