Tax Office could face striking CPSU over “harsh terms” and job cuts

by Chloe Taylor12 Feb 2015
Industrial action could be seen from Australian Taxation Office workers following a pay deal which its union claims will result in hundreds of job losses.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) – the main union representing Tax Office staff – said that the agency was seeking to cut jobs, reduce pay and invest less in conditions under a proposed enterprise agreement.

As of yet, the union has not made a decision on whether to strike, and is seeking members’ opinions before taking any action.

According to CPSU secretary Nadine Flood, staff were told on Tuesday that they would lose several rights and work an additional five days per year in order to gain a 0.8% pay rise.

Although the proposed deal was drawn up by the Tax Office, the CPSU claimed that it had been devised under Employment Minister Eric Abetz’s “harsh terms”.

The deal suggests that productivity could be increased by requiring staff to work an extra nine minutes every day, as well as eradicating allowances including food and travel and “aligning salary advancement with the performance system cycle”.

The Tax Office has cut 3000 jobs to date, and under Abbott’s changes to the national budget another 1700 are predicted to go within the next four years.

A spokesman for ATO said last month that in spite of the reduction to its staff, the Tax Office was surpassing its targets for revenue collection.

The annual report for 2014-15 said that overall net tax collections were expected to increase by 7.5% during, despite the impending cuts.
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