Federal Courts staff fight for justice with industrial action

CPSU members working in the Federal Courts are taking their fight for a fair enterprise agreement directly to the people interacting with the justice system who they work so hard every day to help.

Staff from the Federal, Family and Federal Circuit Courts – who are negotiating a single agreement as a result of a merger last year – are this week handing out an open letter (attached) to people who are currently dealing with the courts.

Industrial action has been notified so the letter can legally be distributed by court staff in their workplaces.

CPSU Deputy Secretary Melissa Donnelly said: “This is a big step for courts staff to take and reflects how angry and frustrated they are with the unfair cuts still being pushed by management. These people deserve respect for their hard work and dedication but instead they’ve been frozen out with no pay rise for more than four years.”

“Our members have decided to take their fight for a fair enterprise agreement directly to those people who rely on them for help through our complex legal system. They’re handing out an open letter that explains in simple terms what this dispute is about and what needs to be done to resolve it.”

“In June courts staff voted on the enterprise agreement being pushed by management, with a stunning 90% No the result. Despite such an emphatic rejection their bosses are continuing to push an agenda that’s clearly not in the best interest of staff or of the courts themselves, with a pay offer that’s even more insulting than that on offer in other Commonwealth agencies.”

“Our members know too well how frustrating the courts can be to deal with, particularly the long delays and complexity of the system. Without quality clerical and support staff the situation would be even worse. That’s why the open letter is urging the public to speak up on their behalf.”

“Courts staff have been reluctant to take industrial action and are loath to do anything that would inconvenience people by putting hearing dates in jeopardy. But their patience is running thin and time is running out for management to start treating them justly.”

“It is time for courts management to look around at the progress that’s been made in other Commonwealth agencies while they’ve been heading in the opposite direction. The courts should be looking at what’s worked in places like the Tax Office, Defence, DHS, CSIRO, Agriculture and Prime Minister and Cabinet.”

MEDIA CONTACT: SIMON FRAZER 0409 493 290

PDF iconcourts_open_letter.pdf