Building Power – Results from Ballot
Last week the protected action ballot was overwhelmingly endorsed by a majority of Professionals Australia members and this has already sent a powerful message to Government.
Despite the significant cuts to the APS workforce over the last 3 years the Professionals Australia membership able to participate in the ballot was 25% stronger than it was in the last ballot in 2011. The participation rate was over 70 % which is extraordinary for a postal ballot let alone one conducted over school holiday periods.
It is a fantastic demonstration of support for the importance of Defence science and engineering and that members are willing to act on their concerns.
This is a critical message for not just the Government but also for members of the cross benches and the Opposition – we will not be ignored!
Some members just missed the ballot cutoff but they and any new members that come on board will be able to make sure actions that we now take will send a more, powerful message.
The more science and engineering professionals that join with us the more representative we will be and the more seriously we will be taken.
We will be discussing this with you in the coming weeks.
A joint hookup of PA and AMWU representatives is meeting today to consider next steps.
Watch out for a bulletin on the ins and outs of protected action soon.
Good Faith Bargaining
You may have seen some discussion and correspondence suggesting that Professionals Australia (and other Defence unions), in the course of rejecting the positions put forward by Defence in negotiations has not been bargaining in good faith and had abandoned negotiations.
This is untrue and wrongly casts aspersions on Professionals Australia representatives and officials (and other Defence unions).
We have attempted to set the record straight with our response here.
I understand that the original correspondence from Defence may be on the DECA forum. It can be viewed on request.
First Principles Review – Update
Professionals Australia and other Defence unions met with the Department to commence discussions around the First Principles Review.
We made clear our concerns about inconsistencies in the review and that further cuts to Defence APS staffing coupled with a failure to address acknowledged critical skill gaps across engineering and science undermines the credibility of such a review and any chance of its success.
Ultimately it will detrimentally impact on the Defence mission. This is a message we are taking to broader stakeholders and will continue to do so with your help over coming months.
Watch this space!
Keep talking to colleagues and making the voice of science and engineering professionals stronger across Defence.
They can join with us online here