Human Services votes to down tools: 95% want action

Staff at the Department of Human Services are rallying over their poor pay deal with the federal government, with an overwhelming vote among the union members in their ranks to launch industrial action.

An overwhelming majority of Community and Public Sector Union members at the Department of Human Services have voted to take industrial action rather than accept the federal government’s tough stance on public service pay and conditions.

According to the CPSU, close to 80% of its 15,000 members from DHS voted in the ballot, with 95% in favour of some form of industrial action. The total number of DHS employees stood at 34,757 when the last Australian Public Service statistics were reported in June.

The union did not provide details of exactly what kind of industrial action members supported out of the many options on the ballot paper.

The ballot is the largest of its kind ever held in Australia, and the union has reported a large increase in new members coinciding with its campaign against the Abbott government’s strict workplace bargaining policy. CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said in a statement today that public servants were becoming “increasingly alarmed” at the framework.

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.