Second wave of strikes set to affect Australian visa and citizenship services

by Ray Clancy on July 30, 2015

in Australia

Visa and citizenship services and travellers in Australia face further disruption next week with another round of industrial action.

Employees of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), including the Australian Border Force, who are members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) are involved in another round of protected industrial action on Monday 03 August 2015 across Australia.

Strike_boards

Some Australian government workers will be going on strike in the next week

Passengers travelling internationally on Monday morning may experience delays at airports, while visa and citizenship services may also be affected. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Darwin, Perth and Adelaide airports are all likely to be affected.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Operations, Steve Lancaster, said travellers and DIBP clients should not be alarmed by this action, but allow extra time for processing.

The CPSU is protesting about pay but officials said that health, safety and security issues would not be compromised by the action. The union is calling for a 12.5% pay rise but the department says this is out of touch with the current economy and other pay settlements.

‘The health, safety and security of the public and our staff continue to be our priority. We are working closely with our partner agencies to minimise impacts on operations,’ Lancaster explained.

‘We recommend that passengers booked on international flights departing on Monday morning to arrive early in accordance with your airline’s guidelines and after check-in, promptly proceed straight to immigration and customs clearance,’ he added.

CPSU secretary Nadine Flood said the strike action would not threaten security since essential national security, counter terrorism and specialist bio-security hazard roles are exempt from the strikes.

‘Our members take their work very seriously. This action will not affect safety at sea, on land, national security or counter-terrorism operations,’ she said, adding that further industrial action cannot be ruled out and workers from other affected government departments could take part in future strikes.

‘The Government can resolve this dispute at any point by sitting down to reach a sensible agreement,’ she pointed out, adding that the Government had a bargaining policy that put workers at a disadvantage and would see them lose up to $8,000 a year in allowances.

‘We will take further industrial action when it is needed and we will see that across border protection and other Commonwealth agencies. But Government can resolve this dispute at any point,’ Flood concluded.

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