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Emigration to Australia: more border staff strikes?

08 November 2016 by News Desk

Emigration to Australia was hit in October by a series of strikes at ports and airports by border staff seeking better pay and conditions.

Emigration to AustraliaEmigration to Australia: Now after staff at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection voted by 82 per cent to reject a new pay deal, the long-running industrial dispute has been referred to a third party in a bid to force a settlement.

Australia’s Fair Work Commission is poised to step in and force a final settlement in order to avoid more strikes that have hit visitors, business travellers and migrants arriving Down Under.

Workers at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection – concerned over staff and budget cuts and changes to working contracts – have rejected the government’s pay offer every year for the past three years.

“This is an emphatic rejection of the unfair and unreasonable deal being pushed by Immigration and Border Force’s bosses and the Turnbull Government,” said Nadine Flood, National Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union.

Emigration to Australia: more border staff strikes?

There is more to the border staff dispute than just pay. Workers are unhappy at recent changes made by the government to methods of negotiating pay and conditions for Australia’s public sector workers.

The changes mean around 100,000 public servants have not had a pay rise for three years and have little chance of any back pay.

Border staff claim that recent government budget cutbacks have led to staff shortages that put security at risk.

Now the Fair Work Commission will step in and break the deadlock.

Around 13,500 staff are employed at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Officials have warned workers that arbitration could be a lengthy process and last up to 18 months.

Despite the Fair Work Commission moving to settle the dispute, there is no guarantee that more strikes will not occur at ports and airports in 2017.

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