Centrelink outage: Big blow for ALL Australians who rely on Services Australia – here’s how this shock decision will affect payments
Australians who are on Centrelink could face a major blow as staff at a major government services department make a shock decision that could affect payments.
Services Australia staff will walk off the job on Monday, October 9, saying their demands for a pay increase have not been met.
Workers will take the entire day off as the 24-hour strike may affect customers accessing essential services.
Centrelink customers (pictured) could see services disrupted by workers as Services Australia staff walked off the job on Monday October 9 over a pay dispute – but Services Australia chief executive Hank Jongen has told Daily Mail Australia in a statement that welfare payments would not be affected by the strike
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) told Services Australia that members of the agency’s 32,000 employees would take industrial action over the pay dispute.
The union says the latest offer of a 0.7 per cent increase compared to Services Australia’s 10.5 per cent wage offer over three years “is not enough”.
CPSU national secretary Melissa Donnelly said the government must honor its commitment to the public sector by giving workers a pay rise.
“The CPSU rejected this offer because we know we can and must aim for more than 50 percent, plus one,” Ms Donnelly said.
“The Albanian Labor Government made a commitment to the public service before its election to become a model employer and to rebuild the APS (Australian Public Service) after a decade of damage and destruction.”
Ms Donnelly said the latest round of industrial action was justified and staff should be given higher salaries to deal with current financial difficulties.
“In an environment where every APS worker is feeling extreme cost-of-living pressures, the current wage offer is not enough,” she said.
“Our members are ready to step up the pressure if necessary to achieve better pay outcomes.”
CPSU national secretary Melissa Donnelly (pictured) said the federal government must deliver on its commitment to better pay for public sector workers and future industrial action was justified.
The CPSU informed the Australian Public Service Commission on Wednesday that the union would not accept the pay offer.
The strike will impact the provision of several services, including Centrelink and health insurance.
Services Australia chief executive Hank Jongen told Daily Mail Australia in a statement that welfare payments would not be affected by the strike.
“We want to reassure customers that payments will not be affected,” Mr Jongen said.
“Our online and self-service services will not be affected and will continue to be available 24/7.
“We encourage customers to use these options first by accessing services through myGov, Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support online accounts and mobile apps, as well as our self-service telephone lines.”
Mr Jongen said the agency would try to minimize disruption resulting from the strike.
“We respect that legal industrial action is part of the negotiation process and we are working to identify the possible number of participating employees,” he said.
Several social services (pictured), including Centrelink, are expected to be affected by the 24-hour strike.
The CPSU is demanding a 20 percent wage increase over three years which the union says will benefit 150,000 public sector workers.
The Daily Mail has contacted Government Services Minister Bill Shorten for comment.
Services Australia staff went on an hour-long walkout in August, leading to a brief interruption of services.
The upcoming strike will be the first to potentially affect customers, with previous forms of industrial action having only affected agency management.