Progress in Courts bargaining

The short version = Courts management need help to get the message and you have a critical role to play in keeping the pressure up. 

Now is the time to join the CPSU and be part of getting a sensible outcome in bargaining. 

Read on for the detail and CPSU action to resolve bargaining. 

There has been no formal shift in the FEDC offer from last negotiations. In yesterday’s brief negotiation Court management confirmed their position to use the lesser conditions of the Family Court as the basis for negotiations despite Public Service Commission advice they could use the Federal Court EA as the starting point. Management have also suggested they are seeking approval for an increased pay offer, but refuse to move on conditions.

You may have seen the Court circular about proposed consolidation and shared services across all Courts’ Registries to make savings. In a time of workplace change, protections that ensure real consultation for employees and fair retention and redundancy provisions is really important. 

CPSU representatives will be in the Fair Work Commission next Wednesday 11 October for discussions about the current bargaining situation and are hopeful this may assist in making progress towards a fair resolution. Those discussions will include our entirely achievable five point plan for a fair enterprise agreement:

  1. A single salary structure for all Courts employees based on the current Federal Court EA salary rates.
  2. Pay increases averaging 2% per annum (consistent with other APS agencies and the bargaining policy) and recognition for financial cost of delays associated with the Courts amalgamation.
  3. Protection of current redundancy, redeployment and retention entitlements provided under the Federal Court EA and extended to all Courts employees. In particular APS standard retention periods of 7 and 13 months, access to job swaps and assistance for redeployment.
  4. Protection of existing workplace rights, in particular consultation rights for workplace change, certainty and fairness in performance processes and guaranteed access to representation in all workplace matters.
  5. Maintain important working conditions, in particular current hours of work for Federal Court employees and reimbursement of professional membership fees for all Courts employees. 

You can make a difference by

  • Joining the CPSU
  • Joining the CPSU and participating in protected industrial action.
  • Joining the CPSU and letting your colleagues know conditions are just as important as pay.

Recruitment practices in the Courts

On another note, you may recall, the CPSU wrote to the Australian Public Service Commissioner about our concerns relating to recruitment practices in the Courts. In his response, Commissioner John Lloyd stating he has “no lawful authority” to investigate our concerns (we consider the Public Service Act suggests otherwise) and referred us to the Federal Court Registrar/CEO. 

We wrote to the Registrar Soden, who confirmed he has passed the matter to the Australian Government Solicitor who will consider our concerns. We are yet to receive an update on this. 

If you have any questions about this email or protected industrial action, please email courtsmembers@cpsu.org.au or call the CPSU office on 1300 137 636 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm AEDT).