The severely weakened Coalition government should give confidence to unionists in the federal public service. The election has shown the support for Medicare, public services and union rights, strengthening the CPSU’s campaign for decent EBAs.
However, our conditions remain under threat from the Turnbull government which wants to take away working conditions and deliver below-inflation pay rises.
Delegates remain frustrated after two years of campaigning that has not resulted in acceptable EBAs in the major agencies covering more than 80 per cent of federal public sector workers. It is about three years since these public servants received a pay rise. In Victoria officials organised a successful meeting just before the election where about 25 delegates were briefed on the campaign to put the Coalition last in the election.
Delegates and members must be more involved in planning future campaigns. With the election behind us, the union needs mass meetings to discuss the result and where next for our campaign. Delegates need to come together and organise to build the meetings, or to pressure the union if they won’t call them.
While Labor have made promises to rip up the Liberals’ dirty work, we don’t know what policy they want to replace it with. They have also promised a welcome $75 million to give permanency to casuals in Centrelink.
Public sector workers cannot leave our working conditions in the hands of the politicians. We will need to ramp up action to win decent EBAs.
By CPSU delegates in Victoria