From November 9 to 15 Australian Taxation Office staff will vote on management's proposed enterprise agreement. This is the second time a staff ballot has been held. The first version of management’s proposal was rejected in June by a majority of 59% to 41%.
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) is recommending that staff vote “no”, because the pay offer of 9% over three years is less than the expected rate of inflation.
A ballot of CPSU members endorsed this position following a recommendation by union’s Tax Section Council.
However, the Australian Services Union (ASU), which joined the CPSU in opposing management's first offer, is split over the current proposal.
Jeff Lapidos, the secretary of ASU’s tax office branch, has recommended members accept the offer. He issued emails to all ATO staff (not just ASU members) without consulting the Tax Branch Council of the ASU, the majority of whose members are opposed to the deal.
He then conducted an email ballot of ASU members, again without consulting the branch council, and without giving those opposed to the deal a chance to put their case to the members.
In response, the branch council has passed a motion declaring the actions taken by Lapidos, including the email ballot, invalid.