Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) staff took industrial action for two hours from 3pm on August 11 over stalled enterprise agreement negotiations.
Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in DAFF walked off the job at about 40 sites across Australia for two hours in protest at the lack of progress with their pay claim.
The stoppage affected quarantine inspections at airports, meat inspections at abattoirs and other DAFF services.
The action followed a series of one-hour national stoppages the previous week.
CPSU national president Michael Tull said on August 3 that further industrial action is likely: “We remain ready to meet again with the employer to try to work out a settlement, but unless there is a better offer, industrial action will escalate in coming weeks.”
Civilian staff in the Department of Defence have voted to take industrial action over stalled pay negotiations.
More than 61% of CPSU members in defence took part in the ballot, voting overwhelmingly in favour of action including stoppages, bans on overtime and bans on out-of-hours work.
The defence department’s civilian staff are among the more than 75,000 Australian public service employees who have now rejected pay offers because the pay offers were too low or employment conditions were cut.
Staff at other departments, such as DAFF, immigration, customs, the National Library of Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology and health and ageing, have all recently rejected agreements.
Unions and defence management will meet again on August 16 and 17 to try to resolve the issue.
CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said no industrial action would take place until after these discussions.
“However, if there is not significant progress next week, we will have no option but to commence industrial action,” she said.