Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union


Members Take Protected Industrial Action at Australian Parliament House

19 FEBRUARY 2024 - Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) AMWU members are undertaking protected industrial action at Parliament House in response to senior management's refusal to address pay disparities and rebuild the core capability of DPS trade staff.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) announces that its Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) members are undertaking protected industrial action at Parliament House beginning on Thursday February 22.

This action comes in response to senior management's refusal to explore options during the bargaining process to rebuild the core capability of trade staff within Parliament House.

The senior executive’s persistent reluctance to explore alternative avenues during successive bargaining rounds has eroded employment conditions for trade staff. This erosion is exemplified by the department's reliance on expensive contracts, engaging labour hire to backfill positions left vacant through consecutive failed rounds of recruitment. The DPS' poor judgment and failure to pay staff competitive wages is at the expense of our members’ professional dignity. Management's acknowledgment of their remuneration problem during the bargaining process remains unaddressed, further contributing to our members’ dissatisfaction.

The DPS’ costly and flawed strategies are prioritised over solutions that union members have outlined in the bargaining process, where senior executives are not only undermining the efforts to rebuild the APS’ core capability, but also exacerbating the challenges facing its workforce.

Under the pretext of Federal Government insourcing policies, the DPS has become reliant on paying premiums for expensive contractors, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money annually. Contractor staff, who are paid competitive industry rates, work alongside trade-qualified permanent staff who are compensated as little as APS level 3 equivalent. This aggravates the disparity in remuneration between workers and recently formed business unit Electronic Security Services who are paid at APS level 5 and 6.

The AMWU stands in solidarity with our members and calls on senior executive management to prioritise competitive rates of pay and engage labour hire contractors only when necessary. The core maintenance capability work within DPS should serve as an opportunity to upskill, enhance job satisfaction, and leverage existing knowledge within DPS maintenance departments.
The AMWU calls for change and genuine efforts from DPS management to address the root causes of the ongoing discontent. Members stand firm in their commitment to principled negotiations, aiming for a resolution that benefits all trade staff at Parliament House, preserving their dignity and rights.

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