NATSIC News

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Caucus (NATSIC) is a CPSU member network that provides a united voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) members, delegates, activists and workers.  It does this by:

  • Sharing ideas, advice and information with fellow ATSI members
  • Developing specific claims relating to ATSI employees in APS agreement bargaining
  • Giving input and policy recommendations into CPSU Governing Council on ATSI issues
  • Providing information to develop submissions on government reviews and budgets.

Recent CPSU campaigning

Endorsement of Redfern Statement

Following a survey of CPSU members who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders or working on indigenous policy the CPSU endorsed the Redfern statement that was launched in June 2016 by Indigenous health, education, legal and reconciliation organisations, with broad support from non-government organisations.  Click here for more detail

Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C)

The CPSU has been campaigning strongly in PM&C following the Machinery of Government change where a number of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander staff and ATSI portfolio staff were moved into PM&C. As well as the current PM&C bargaining campaign there have been a number of cultural issues in PM&C that CPSU has been successful in resolving following strong campaigning by members.

Pay equity in the APS

Pay rates for APS staff in Indigenous agencies continues to be lower then other agencies. The CPSU has been campaigning since 2008 to address the pay gap with some success in 2011 bargaining where we were able to negotiate pay rises that went towards closing the gap.

The current round of bargaining has again seen agencies with higher levels of Indigenous staff offered lower pay rises than the rest of the APS. These have consistently been rejected by CPSU bargaining teams and members, such as in May 2016 when 95% of Aboriginal Hostels staff rejected an agreement offer of 1% wage rises with many loses of working conditions and rights. This occurs in an agency where an entry level position is some $11000 behind leading APS agencies.

CPSU diversity claim and content in APS agreements

Throughout previous agreement negotiations the CPSU has negotiated to include clauses on diversity in APS agreement including clauses on workplace diversity, cultural, ceremonial and NAIDOC leave, and a definition that recognises kinship.

Our current agreement claims seek to enhance these provisions with claims such as specific measures to increase the number of ATSI employees, using identified positions, Reconciliation Action Plans, cultural diversity training, career pathways for diversity groups, diversity advisory committees, and reporting on the representation of diversity groups.

Rather than enhance these provisions a number of APS agencies have sought to remove diversity clauses from their agreements. Through strong campaigning and negotiating we have ensured agencies such as NDIA, Employment, OAIC, FWBC, DHS, AFSA and PM&C have retained clauses on diversity and cultural leave in their current working drafts. This is despite the APSC at one stage insisting these clauses come out.

Indigenous employment within the APS

There has been a long term goal by Australian governments to increase ATSI participation in the APS workforce to 2.7% by 2015. The Prime Minster’s Closing the Gap Report 2016 highlights a new target of 3% ATSI representation in the Australian Government Sector by 2018.

The APS State of the Service Report of 2015 has Indigenous employment at 2.6%. While this is an improvement on the 2010 figure of 2.4% the actual numbers of Indigenous staff has not increased, and there are concerns that without three particular Indigenous employment programs, it would be 2.3%.

Indigenous membership of the CPSU

The CPSU has 1445 members who have identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Membership is largest in DHS, PM&C, ATO, Customs, Immigration and Border Protection, Defence, Torres Strait Regional Authority, Agriculture and Water Resources.

NT One Mob Indigenous Unions Network

The CPSU has been a driving force in the setting up of the One Mob Indigenous Unions Network which will represent ATSI union members of the 15 unions that are affiliated to Unions NT.

What we’re doing as an employer

CPSU Reconciliation Action Plan

The CPSU has developed a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which has been endorsed by the CPSU Executive Committee. It needs to be reviewed to ensure it meets the current expectations of Reconciliation Australia. In the meantime the CPSU has implemented some of the commitments of the RAP.   

Related Campaigns