The Bureau of Meteorology says it will continue to deliver timely forecasts and warnings while staff take strike action for the next three weeks.
Up to one third of the Bureau of Meteorology’s staff will take part protected industrial action from July 20 to August 9.
Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in the Bureau will stop work without notice in the early mornings and evenings, refuse to answer phone calls and not respond to non-urgent media inquiries.
The CPSU said the three-week campaign of industrial action is intended to secure a fair enterprise agreement and working conditions, particularly for remote staff.
The union said it has taken steps to ensure the Bureau can continue to provide critical forecasting services.
CPSU Deputy Secretary Beth Vincent-Pietsch said: “Bureau of Meteorology staff have been forced into this situation by their bosses, who continue to push harsh and unreasonable cuts to rights and conditions. Disturbingly, management have particularly targeted people on the frontline working shifts and in remote locations.
“BOM staff have gone well over three years without a pay rise as this dispute has dragged on through no fault of their own. Despite such a long fight they’ve made it clear that what management’s pushing is unacceptable by voting twice to reject unacceptable enterprise agreement proposals, most recently in May with a 58pc No vote.”
“The industrial action beginning on Thursday will include rolling strikes, with CPSU members able to strike at times of their choosing within morning and afternoon windows. There will also be a range of work bans, including on answering phones and dealing with media inquiries.”
“It’s important to emphasise that the target of this industrial action is BOM management rather than the general public, and that the CPSU has taken extensive steps to ensure strike and other action does not impact on critical forecasting services.”
“This situation in BOM stands in stark contrast to that in many other Commonwealth agencies, with enterprise agreements voted up in recent months in major agencies including Defence, Agriculture, the Tax Office, CSIRO and Prime Minister and Cabinet. BOM needs to follow the lead set by these others and recognise that protecting existing rights and conditions is a key concern for staff.”
The CPSU said members in BOM will be legally protected to strike within set windows.
The Bureau said it will continue to deliver timely forecasts and warnings during the period of protected industrial action.
“Forecasts and warnings are available at www.bom.gov.au and through the Bureau’s mobile app,” the Bureau said in a statement.
“The Bureau has robust procedures and practices in place to ensure services essential for the safety and security of the Australian public will continue.
“Bureau management and bargaining representatives are resuming discussions on areas of concern with the current draft Enterprise Agreement.”
Sources: CPSU, BOM