Workers in the Australian Taxation Office have rejected management's proposed enterprise agreement by 59% to 41% in an all-staff vote. Workers in the Department of Defence voted against their management's proposal by 72.5% to 27.5%.
This follows similar votes by employees at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the immigration department.
Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) national secretary Nadine Flood said on July 1 that "the government and Australian Public Service Commission's negative agenda of low pay offers and cuts to conditions meant that industrial action is now likely in a growing number of agencies”.
She said "a major concern with the Defence and Tax agreements was that the 3% annual pay rise on offer was in effect a real wage cut" — below the expected rise in the cost of living. Other concerns included job security and executive-level hours of work.
In the tax office, the CPSU and the Australian Services Union produced joint leaflets and posters calling for a “no” vote. This joint campaign contrasts with a history of division and hostility between the two unions.