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Centrelink workers want 20% pay rise, plan to strike

Workers at Centrelink are asking for a 20 per cent pay rise.

A composite image of a Centrelink logo and a man leaving a Centrelink centre.
Centrelink workers will strike today with a one-hour stop-work action. (Source: Getty)

Centrelink workers are planning to take part in a one-hour stop-work action from 4:00pm today as they take part in industrial action against Services Australia.

Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in Services Australia said they would be escalating their industrial action after the agency proposed a raft of cuts.

The CPSU said it had opposed proposals to cut existing employee rights, which affect performance management, rostering and call monitoring.

The CPSU called on the agency to listen to the concerns of employees and abandon its current approach.

“CPSU members have been clear from the start - they want a pay rise that is on time and they want to protect existing entitlements,” CPSU national secretary Melissa Donnelly said.

“Services Australia management seem to be stuck in the past with their agenda of cuts. No other Agency has proposed cuts in this round of bargaining.

“Services Australia risks missing a valuable opportunity to rebuild and restore workplaces after years of attacks on pay and conditions.”

Donnelly said the CPSU was calling for all employees to get a 20 per cent pay rise over three years, with the agency currently offering only a 10 per cent rise.

In a letter, sent in July, to Public Service Minister Katy Gallagher, the CPSU also requested the government reconsider Services Australia’s rejection of disability leave, gender-affirmation leave, and a four-day working week.

How will the strike affect Aussies on Centrelink?

Those who are looking to access services through Services Australia may find their calls are unanswered during the one-hour work stoppage from 4:00pm AEST.

The industrial action has already been taking place for around two weeks, but has so far mostly consisted ​​of CPSU members at Services Australia refusing to enter prescribed codes that enable management to track the tasks they are completing.

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