It pays to be a member in Border Force

A CPSU member who uprooted his family and moved thousands of kilometres for work has found union membership pays.

A big move

The Border Force member was told by his employer that his position was to be relocated from Far North Queensland to Brisbane. He set about the process of shifting his family and selling their home.

Under the Department’s policy, he was entitled to have a number of the costs from the sale of the family home reimbursed and he factored this in to the family’s budget.

After the big move, however, management informed him that they would not pay the promised reimbursement, amounting to more than $46,000, as the policy had since expired.

The member got in touch with his CPSU organiser, Rose Boothroyd straight away, asking, “Can they do that?”

After initial investigation, Rose confirmed that the Department’s position was incorrect, as the reimbursement was to be applied from the time the employee received their assignment papers.

As his reassignment was given while the policy was still in effect, the member was covered.

Rose contacted Border Force, explained the CPSU’s position and confirmed that the union would take the matter to the Fair Work Commission to protect our member’s rights.

A little movement

In response to the CPSU’s initial representation, the Department informed the union and the member that they would pay a portion of the promised reimbursement.

Upon escalating the dispute, the Department then agreed to reimburse all of the costs the member was entitled to, however, they claimed that because he was married, the payment would be reduced by 50%.

Sticking to our guns

CPSU organiser Rose Boothroyd said that while the member welcomed the change of heart, their position didn’t ring true.

Rose confirmed that the wording of the Department’s policy specifically stated that if the employee was married, they would still be entitled to 100% of the specified reimbursement.

46,000 reasons to join

When Rose presented Border Force management with the clause from their old policy document and again stated that the CPSU was prepared to take the matter to the Fair Work Commission, they immediately backed down and agreed to pay the member in full the $46,000 he was owed.

The member is thrilled with the outcome.

He said, “Without the support of the CPSU, I would have accepted management’s claims on trust. It wasn’t until the union tracked back through the old policy documents and found the specific clauses that I knew I was entitled to the full reimbursement.

“Thanks to the union’s representation, I’m not out of pocket for the expense of moving. It really does pay to be a member. If you’re not a member, do yourself a favour and join.”

Not yet a member? 

Join the union today:

  • online
  • call 1300 137 636, or
  • speak to your CPSU delegate