Striking DHS workers to join Adelaide jobs rally

CPSU members including striking staff from Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support will join hundreds of South Australian workers for a rally over the Turnbull Government’s unprecedented attack on public sector workers.

The lunchtime event at Victoria Square on Friday March 31 from 1pm will also include members of the AMWU, AWU, CEPU and Professionals Australia.

A large turnout is expected for the rally to protest against the unfair treatment of South Australians working for the Australian Submarine Corporation and in other Commonwealth agencies where staff have fought for more than three years for new enterprise agreements.

CPSU’s South Australian Regional Secretary Liz Temple said: “This is the third week in a row where South Australians working for the Department of Human Services across Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support have gone on strike, joining their colleagues across the country.”

“DHS workers are striking because they’ve gone well over three years without a pay rise, as their bosses and the Turnbull Government have attacked essential workplace rights and conditions. This protracted dispute has gone on far too long. It’s been bad for DHS workers, their families and the essential services our members provide.”

“The unjust pain being caused to DHS staff is only one example of the Turnbull Government’s attacks on public sector workers in South Australia. Our comrades at Australian Submarine Corporation have unfortunately also experienced the Government’s anti-worker agenda and enterprise bargaining remains unsettled in other Commonwealth agencies including Defence and the ATO. That’s why we’re all joining together for this rally, and are urging all South Australians to get behind us.”

“Thousands of DHS workers in South Australia are stuck in this dispute. We’re talking about part-time working mums on around $40,000 a year who are doing it really tough. All they want to do is hold on to rights and conditions that have been in place for many years and allow them to balance their working and family lives.”

“DHS is an agency in crisis because of the Turnbull Government’s attacks on it. Our community and workers are struggling, with 36 million phone calls to the agency going unanswered last year and 5,000 permanent jobs slashed. Resolving bargaining would be an important first stepping to getting this agency back on track. The Government must also start treating ASC and all public sector workers with respect.”