13 October 2016 – Correction of inaccurate claims in The Canberra Times

Reporting in The Canberra Times, ‘PS disputes move to mediation’ (13 October 2016) is factually incorrect.

The Department of Human Services has not been instructed by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to participate in mediation or conciliation sessions with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) on our Enterprise Agreement.

The department is currently defending an allegation made by the CPSU to the FWC that we have not met our good faith bargaining requirements under the Fair Work Act 2009.

We reject this allegation because we have consistently bargained in good faith throughout the process.

We have demonstrated a continued commitment to a draft agreement and pay offer that takes staff feedback on board and meets our service delivery obligations and the Government’s bargaining policy.

Our latest proposal is further proof that we continue to bargain in good faith.

In putting this offer together, we’ve listened, worked through the outstanding issues and carefully considered the feedback we received from staff since the last offer in February and we have made a further 27 changes to this proposal.

The pay offer is a pay rise of 3% on commencement, followed by a 1.5% increase on both the first and second anniversaries of the agreement.