Union’s day of anger barely a mild annoyance

It can be tough for public sector unions to exert leverage in enterprise bargaining, especially at federal level where there’s no army of frontline nurses, firefighters and teachers to elicit public sympathy for the reasons behind service delivery interruptions.

But it must add insult to injury when the government’s central human resources office mocks your impassioned campaign of industrial action, as the Australian Service Commission has done this afternoon.

The Community and Public Service Union’s APS campaign is also hamstrung by the fact that employees bargain with their agency bosses while government ministers ultimately set the limits on pay and entitlements but refuse to come to the table. The 24-hour period of strike action that hit the Australian Public Service on Friday aimed to drag ministers into negotiations by targeting their offices with protests.

Now the APSC has called it a “flop” and said it “fell flat” in a media statement that suggests the industrial action caused little concern to the government because few unionists took part:

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