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Industrial action campaign steps up at CYF

Industrial action campaign steps up at Child, Youth and Family

More than 2,000 Child, Youth and Family staff, members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have given notice of an intensified industrial action campaign beginning this Monday (10 October 2005) to seek a fair pay agreement.

The new action follows a 24-hour strike last Friday by social workers and support staff working at the Department’s 55 offices nation-wide, its call centre and residences. Attempts to get Child, Youth and Family to return to the negotiating table have so far been unsuccessful.

PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff said members have expressed widespread support for further industrial action.

“Most Child, Youth and Family staff have not had a pay increase since 2001 and in that time the pay gap between them and other state sector workers has grown very large.

“Social workers will be paid 20 per cent less than their colleagues in the health sector if a new pay deal recently negotiated is ratified, while pay for support staff are also behind those paid for similar positions in other departments.

“Child, Youth and Family refuses to make an offer which will close this pay gap and it also remains fixated on keeping a performance pay system which experience tells us delivers arbitrary results and entrenches pay inequities.

“The Department regularly experiences difficulties recruiting and retaining staff. An inferior pay scale for the toughest job in social work will not fix this problem.

“From Monday (10 October), PSA members will implement an overtime ban and make themselves unavailable for the after hours roster. They will stop inputting key performance indicator data and responding to information requests from the Minister.

“A two-hour strike is planned for next Thursday (13 October), followed by a 24-hour strike on Thursday 20 October and a 48-hour strike on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 October.

“As we have previously stated, we are ready and willing to return to the negotiating table at any stage to reach an agreement. We believe it is important that the chief executive, who announced her resignation today, sorts this dispute out promptly as it is likely to be many months before a new appointee will be able to take her place,” Richard Wagstaff said.

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