ACMA strikes expand to policy, admin staff

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ACMA strikes expand to policy, admin staff

Push for 10.5 percent pay increase.

Unions have stepped up a pay dispute with the Australian Communications and Media Authority, announcing policy and administrative staff will stop work for up to an hour tomorrow.

The fresh round of industrial action follows a continuing stop work by approximately 20 engineers that began last Friday and has since grown to more than 50 engineering workers.

In a bargaining update sent to members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) this morning, and sighted by iTnews, national organiser James Cronin threatened tomorrow's stop work if meetings today with the ACMA did not resolve the union's concerns.

Union organisers confirmed the stop work meetings would proceed.

"We're reaching a critical point in negotiations and it has come to our attention that we need to further explain the CPSU Settlement proposal in respect of pay and also list the wins we have achieved through negotiations so far," Cronin said in the bargaining update.

The union has continued to push for a pay increase of 10.5 percent over three years for all public service staff in addition to a $750 bonus payment "in recognition of the delay in reaching agreement".

Additional conditions include 20 days personal/carers leave per year, paid superannuation on unpaid periods of maternity leave, locked in 15.4 percent superannuation and three days compassionate leave.

The CPSU has, however, welcomed a proposal by the ACMA to increase at-risk pay to five percent of salaries for staff on the EL2, or second executive level, pay grade.

Action coordination

The Association of Professional Engineers,Scientists & Managers Australia (APESMA) is largely coordinating action among engineers and professionals at the ACMA.

CPSU's members are largely policy and administrative staff.

Both unions have coordinated on reaching a revised enterprise agreement since 59 percent of eligible staff rejected a proposal in July for pay increases of between two and four percent.

An ACMA spokesman said negotiations are continuing but refused to comment further.

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