FSU files for “protected action” in pursuit of fair agreement at CBA

On Friday afternoon we sent an update about where things stand in negotiations.

Members are rightly frustrated with CBA’s attempt to undermine our union’s bargaining position by proposing to pay out increases before we’ve reached proper agreement on the amount (amongst other things).

This is especially disappointing when agreement is so close! CBA would only need to let us keep our RDOs, pay 3% for everyone, and include a fair contracting clause before we could agree.

These are things CBA can easily do. But instead they’re contemplating an unfair strategy designed to undermine our campaign.

If CBA were genuinely concerned about getting pay increases into people’s accounts before Christmas, they could do that. They could meet our very fair claims, and get the deal done rather than act in bad faith towards their own employees.

We are not powerless in this situation. Not by a long shot. We know our claims are fair and reasonable, and we ought to support them. Together.

On Friday afternoon the FSU made an application to the Fair Work Commission for a “Protected Action Ballot Order”.

A Protected Action Ballot is a vote conducted among union members to secure legal protections for any industrial action they may choose to take to advance their interests in bargaining.

This application for a ballot is the first step in the process to give us the legal protection we’d need if we chose to take industrial action to further press our claims.

We need to show CBA that we’re not backing down. It shouldn’t be this hard, but we’re not going to be bullied into a bad agreement.

So what happens next?

All you need to do right now, is make sure that your personal details are up to date with us. If our application is successful, the ballot will be conducted by mail. To update your details you can:

  • Call us on 1300 366 378 or update your details online here.
  • You can also email fsuinfo@fsunion.org.au confirming your preferred mailing address.

Only members of the union can vote in a ballot of this kind, so if you’re not a member or if you’ve got non members in your workplace who are campaigning alongside you, they need to join now.

How does it work?

Next, we’ll go to a hearing in the Fair Work Commission where a Commissioner will decide whether there should be a vote among FSU members at CBA about whether or not they support seeking legal protection for potential future action. This decision considers questions like “are the parties genuinely trying to reach agreement”.

This step alone is a formality, but after that, if our application is approved, FSU members will receive a letter that will ask them to fill out a ballot paper and return it by mail.

The ballot paper will ask if you support seeking legal protections for different potential types of industrial actions

An example of the kinds of things you’ll be asked about would be “one hour stoppages of work”

If our ballot is successful, this will mean that we – collectively –  can then decide at any stage to take industrial action and it would be legally protected. Please note that this does not necessarily mean that we will.

If you have further questions about the above, please reach out to your union rep, our Member Rights Centre on 1300 366 378, or  email fsuinfo@fsunion.org.au.

If you’d like to do more to support the union’s campaign, you can:

  1. Get your colleagues on board today. We’re fighting for a fair outcome for everyone, and we know we’re stronger together. We’ve seen that already. Most of our new members tell us that they’ve just never been asked before! So ask a colleague today!
  2. Send the CBA negotiators an email now. Let them know that you understand that this would be an act of bad faith designed to undermine our collective claim, and that it’s not going to work. What we are asking for is fair.
  3. We’ve revamped our petition and brought it up to date. Get this petition to everyone you know at CBA. Our best defence against CBA’s divide and conquer approach is our unity and solidarity. We can only have that if we reach out to others and let them know what’s going on! Here’s the link: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/cba-should-do-better/

In Unity,

Authorised by Julia Angrisano, National Secretary