More strikes to affect immigration and visa departments in Australia

by Ray Clancy on September 15, 2015

in Australia, Australia Immigration, Immigration Documentation

People arriving in Australia and visa applicants face a further tranche of delays due to industrial action by employees of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Also taking part in the action from Wednesday 16 to Friday 18 September and Monday 21 to Wednesday 23 September and employees of the Australian Border Force (ABF), who are members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU).

This is the third round of industrial action and it will affect international airline passengers the most who are likely to experience delays at Australia’s international airports on arrival and departure.
ABF Acting Deputy Commissioner Operations, Stephen Allen, said travellers should not be alarmed by this action, but allow extra time for processing.

“We recommend that passengers booked on international flights arrive early in accordance with your airline’s guidelines. After check-in, we suggest passengers promptly proceed straight to immigration and customs clearance,” he pointed out.”We are continuing to work closely with our partner agencies to minimise impacts on operations. The health, safety and security of the public and our staff continue to be our priority,” he added.

Visa and citizenship services may also be affected but applicants are urged not to worry, while the CPSU has confirmed that there will be possible disruptions and delays at Cairns, Perth and Darwin international airports.

The series of ongoing strikes are in protest at working conditions and take home pay. The union says that workers are angry about a Federal Government bargaining policy which it say forces departments to take an axe to the allowances that make up much of their pay packets. The allowances compensate staff for spending weeks at sea, using firearms, maintaining high fitness standards, working long hours, unusual shifts and performing dirty and/or dangerous work.

“Immigration and Border Force workers are facing the loss of up to $8,000 a year from their take home pay under the Federal Government’s draconian bargaining policy, thatís why they are taking these ongoing, rolling strikes,” said CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood.

“These hardworking men and women undertake important, difficult and sometimes dangerous jobs on behalf of our community. They deserve better from the Federal Government than this attack on their rights, conditions and take home pay,” she pointed out.

“The Government and the Department have had more than a year to sit down with the union and work out a fair deal that protects the rights, conditions and take home pay of these hardworking people. The industrial action is a direct response to the fact that a Government is just not listening to its workers,” she explained.

She added that more than 17,000 public sector jobs have been lost and close to 160,000 employees are still without new agreements after 18 months.

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